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Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated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 But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.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
Therapeutic Purposes
Credentials | Experience
Brochures | Interview
Events and Workshops

Website Disclaimer


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

Poems and Quotes

Poetry For Life 10

No words can describe it
No example can point to it
Samsara does not make it worse
Nirvana does not make it better
It has never been born
It has never ceased
It has never been liberated
It has never been deluded
It has never existed
It has never been nonexistent
It has no limits at all
It does not fall into any kind of category
—Sogyal Rinpoche


Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I am given unimaginable gifts;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.

Each condition I flee from pursues me.
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed…
—Jennifer Welwood


desire is an echo
reflecting the essential
craving of the soul.
the soundless voice
of desperate striving
for completeness,
for unblemished wholeness
devoid of any wants
and lacks.

it is a yearning cry
for undiluted
and pristine love
without condition,

to turn back to god/love/reality
home of all bliss
total satisfaction.

unrelenting wish
to return to the true,
essential nature
to the glorious, timeless
and all pervading,
seamless unity
without another.

know, beloved,
what you truly desire
is what you always are!
—Yosy A. Flug

George Demont Otis     Lupinee

No Coward Soul is Mine

No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere
I see Heaven's glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

O God within my breast
Almighty ever-present Deity
Life, that in me hath rest
As I Undying Life, have power in thee

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts, unutterably vain,
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thy infinity
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality

With wide-embracing love
Thy spirit animates eternal years
Pervades and broods above
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

Though Earth and moon were gone
And suns and universes ceased to be
And though wert left alone
Every Existence would exist in thee

There is not room for Death
Nor atom that his might could render void
Since thou art Being and Breath
And what thou art may never be destroyed
—Emily Brontë


God is a pure no-thing,
concealed in now and here:
the less you reach for him,
the more he will appear.
—Angelus Silesius (1624 - 1677)


Whoever perceives
Within misfortune
Within hunger
And happiness
Within misery,
Joy and beauty
Eye is cast -
Such a one,
My friend
—Yosy A. Flug


The things that change are not our real life

The things that change are not our real life.
Within us there is another body, another beauty.
It belongs to that ray of Light which never changes.
We must discover how to mingle with It and become one
with that Unchanging thing.
We must realize and understand this treasure of Truth.
That is why we have come to the world.
Within your heart in a space no bigger than an atom,
God has placed the 18,000 universes.
—Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (1900? – 1986), from A Book of God’s Love


I love Jesus, who said to us:
heaven and earth will pass away.
When heaven and earth have passed away,
my word will still remain.
What was your word, Jesus?
Love? Forgiveness? Affection?
All your words were
one word: Wakeup.
—Antonio Machado, Transs by Robert Bly, in The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy


desire is an echo
reflecting the essential
craving of the soul.
the soundless voice
of desperate striving
for completeness,
for unblemished wholeness
devoid of any wants
and lacks.

it is a yearning cry
for undiluted
and pristine love
without condition,

to turn back to god/love/reality
home of all bliss
total satisfaction.
unrelenting wish
to return to the true,
essential nature
to the glorious, timeless
and all pervading,
seamless unity
without another.

know, beloved,
what you truly desire
is what you always are!
—Yosy A. Flug


You already are the very Beloved that
you've been seeking.

Although there seems to be separate
personalities in the world, there's really
no separate person.

There's only "One."

But it's a One without a "some-one" being
attached to it.

Because of this, no matter where it is that
you rest your gaze, you're always looking
directly into the multi-faceted "Face-of-God."

And, miraculously, it's always been your very
own face.

Give up your idea about what you and God
seem to look like.

You both look exactly like "what is."
—Chuck Hillig


Increase your doubtfulness, my friend.
Keep questioning all things...
Persist doubting everything,
Until all incertitude
Is wiped out and obliterated
Without a slightest trace
By the ever-present, mysterious,
Timeless and boundless

Once recognized doubtless
Self evident truth
Whole, complete and all containing
Needs no further proof.
—Yosy A. Flug


Strong in the Rain

Strong in the rain
Strong in the wind

Strong against the summer heat and snow
He is healthy and robust
Free from desire
He never loses his temper
Nor the quiet smile on his lips
He eats four `go' of unpolished rice
Miso and a few vegetables a day
He does not consider himself
In whatever occurs... his understanding
Comes from observation and experience
And he never loses sight of things
He lives in a little thatched-roof hut
In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove
If there is a sick child in the east
He goes there to nurse the child
If there's a tired mother in the west
He goes to her and carries her sheaves
If someone is near death in the south
He goes and says, `Don't be afraid'
If there are strife and lawsuits in the north
He demands that the people put an end to their pettiness
He plods about at a loss during the cold summer
Everyone calls him Blockhead
No one sings his praises
Or takes him to heart...

That is the kind of person
I want to be
—Keji Miyazawa, from Being Human, edited by Neil Astley translated from the Japanese by Roger Pulvers


The secret

There is the simple world,
This creation.
It hints to something.
Follow the hints boldly,
Seek. Ask. Enquire.
Abandoning all selfishness
Dive deeply within.
See the whole creation
Hidden in the secret
And the secret in creation.

You are the nameless, boundless sea!
—Yosy A. Flug


Nothing To Save

There is nothing to save, now all is lost,
but a tiny core of stillness in the heart
like the eye of a violet.
—D.H. Lawrence


No thing which can be forgotten
Is truly worth remembering.
Anything that can be lost
Does not deserve holding to…
Giving up, surrendering self,
Lost in love, aware of nothing
As long as body lasts,
Breath is the only
Oh, the boundless grace!
—Yosy A. Flug


How did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world
all its beauty?

It felt
the encouragement
of Light
against its being.
—Hafiz, Teachings of Hafiz - translated by Gertrude Lowthian Bell

pain and pleasure are strains
in the tightly intertwined rope
making up this world of opposites,
no one without the other.
a rope that binds the illusion identity,
(whose true nature remains ever free)
to the addictive excitement game
of loss and gain,
attraction, rejection, joy of winning,
and pain.

in darkness, the light of truth hidden
by storm clouds of ignorant fears and desires
this rope appears to be a scary snake,
frightening to the core the gullible,
who identify self with a form and a name.
but when understanding dawns
illuminating the heart with grace
all distinctions and separations cease.
the rope of illusion is burnt to ashes.
the obvious is always self evident
how can the boundless be bound?
timeless truth was never lost. so
how can it ever be found?
—Yosy A. Flug


Let go of things as separate existences
and mind too vanishes.
Likewise when the thinking subject vanishes
so too do the objects created by mind.

The arising of other gives rise to self;
giving rise to self generates other.
Know these seeming two as facets
of the One Fundamental Reality.
In this Emptiness, these two are really one -
and each contains all phenomena.
—Hsin Hsin Ming, Verses on Faith Mind, Seng- Ts'an

George Demont Otis     Flowering Dunes

Nothing I’ve Said

Some cultures have words
that with rare exceptions
are too holy to be uttered aloud
but I was raised in a culture
where the only words
you aren't supposed to say
are dirty words spoken by potty mouths
Of course there are other words
that mean the same things
but it is the dirty words that count
I like it when available words take me
places I've never been before

There are plenty of restless energies
floating around crying for tongues
Would-be words that try to trick you
into calling them some kind of name
by getting personal
"First you make up your mind"
They say with an exaggerated wink
"like a crook makes up an alibi
then you say one thing but do another
& after that you play favorites
Nothing you've said has yet
to improve upon silence"

You don't know the half of it
I'm much worse than you think
Sometimes language is a bell & my
mind is the clapper of its own undoing
Only the fully rung fully realize
Now before I slip on my slippers
I tap them upside down so any words
that have crawled in will fall out
There ought to be something
you can't forget that keeps you
noticing how things change
when you pay attention to them
—Steve Toth


The one law

In spite of appearances,
In center-less and timeless reality
The ocean of time, boundless,
Stretches in all directions.
Containing all seeming future,
Present and past.
All effects and causes too.
It rests, uninterrupted
United forever
In the eternal now.
What appears as
Causes and effects,
Ends and beginnings
Is really inseparable.
Therefore, regardless whatsoever
Everything returns to the source
Whence all originated.
And this, my precious
Is the one and only
Ruthless and unbreakable

Therefore, remember my dear:
In truth, whatever you appear to do
Whenever and wherever -
You do only
To you.
—Yosy A. Flug


The flute of the Infinite is played without
ceasing, and its sound is love:

When love renounces all limits, it reaches

How widely the fragrance spreads! It has
no end, nothing stands in its way.

The form of this melody is bright like a
million suns: incomparably sounds the
vina, the vina of the notes of truth.
—Kabir, Songs of Kabir [Translated by Rabindranath Tagore], 1988


"Haofon Rece Swealg"

yellow trucks hauling garbage,
ampicillin, napalm.

These too will be
replaced by the not-yet imagined.

The engines of diesel
will silence,
joining the engines of steam,
the brayings of mule.

And still the poetry of ancient Sumeria
will be understood with ease—

the cutting down of the tallest cedar—

and Beowulf's verdict yet hold:

Technologies alter,

Heaven swallows the smoke.

—Jane Hirshfield, from Come, Thief


The New Rule

It's the old rule that drunks have to argue
and get into fights.
The lover is just as bad. he falls into a hole.
But down in that hole he finds something shining,
worth more than any amount of money or power.

Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street.
I took it as a sign to start singing,
falling up into the bowl of sky.
The bowl breaks. Everywhere is falling everywhere.
Nothing else to do.

Here's the new rule: break the wineglass,
and fall toward the glassblower's breath.

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
Your covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.
The speechless full moon
comes out now.

"I used to want buyers for my words.
Now I wish someone would buy me away from words.

I've made a lot of charmingly profound images,
scenes with Abraham, and Abraham's father, Azar,
who was also famous for icons.

I'm so tired of what I've been doing.

Then one image without form came,
and I quit.

Look for someone else to tend the shop.
I'm out of the image-making business.

Finally I know the freedom
of madness

. A random image arrives. I scream,
"Get out!" It disintegrates.

Only love.
Only the holder the flag fits into,
and wind. No flag.

—Rumi, version by Coleman Barks

Talking To My Son Before Sleep

"Which is bigger," he asks me, "the ocean or sky,"
and I want to tell hem the heart, which even today
has been practicing vastness, is learning to say yes

in new languages, learning to stretch beyond
the center, beyond the lips, learning to be more moon
and less woman, to reflect light without owning it,

learning to lose whatever it has used before as a measure.
This is the way I want to love: in an idiom stronger
than tongues, I want to love in the way that tides pull

and release, like the moon which holds without touch,
I want to invite the sky to create a bigger space in me
a place spacious enough to hold all the wings

of the passing moment. I want to be buoyant enough
to carry all of love's weight. "the sky," I say.
"The sky is bigger, but the ocean is also wide."

He is satisfied by my words, closes his eyes.
In my chest, a star falls. In my belly
strong tug of tides.
—Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer


Once You Have Known Darkness

your shadow

will follow you,

but only to regions

where there is light.

You are forever linked

to these two worlds:

one that shapes you,

one that takes your shape.

—Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer


A Celebration

With these words?
I celebrate this precious moment?
Of opening into the field of resonance?
Flowing between us

I am pulled back to you?
Without choice?
That I am Your servant?
Is the only thought?
In the otherwise empty?
Space at your feet.
—Wayne Liquorman


abandon worry...

Oh beggar
Fighting for your place in line
Desiring to have
Your pitiful cup filled
Envious of those
Closer to the dispenser
And of others
Bigger cups
This container of mine
An endless supply
There is more then enough
To fill all of creation!
—Yosy A. Flug


The Bright Field

R. S. Thomas (1913 - 2000)

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.


Mysteries, Yes

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow there heads.

—Mary Oliver, from Evidence

George Demont Otis     Mount Shasta


Home | Dedication/Orientation | 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 | Therapeutic Purposes | Credentials | Experience | Brochures | Interview | Events and Workshops | Website Disclaimer | Contact