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Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated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 But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.

 


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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

Poems and Quotes

Poetry For Life 3
 

Amazing Grace—Englishman John Newton (1725-1807)

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me. . .
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught. . .
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear. . .
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares. . .
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far. . .
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me. . .
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be. . .
as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun refuse to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we've been here ten thousand years. . .
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise. . .
then when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me. . .
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

[Extra verse, courtesy of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin]

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining like the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun.

I
Rabindranath Tagore

I wonder if I know him
In whose speech is my voice,
In whose movement is my being,
Whose skill is in my lines,
Whose melody is in my songs
In joy and sorrow.
I thought he was chained within me,
Contained by tears and laughter,
Work and play.
I thought he was my very self
Coming to an end with my death.
Why then in a flood of joy do I feel him
In the sight and touch of my beloved?
This 'I' beyond self I found
On the shores of the shining sea.
Therefore I know
This 'I' is not imprisoned within my bounds.
Losing myself, I find him
Beyond the borders of time and space.
Through the Ages
I come to know his Shining Self
In the Iffe of the seeker,
In the voice of the poet.
From the dark clouds pour the rains.
I sit and think:
Bearing so many forms, so many names,
I come down, crossing the threshold
Of countless births and deaths.
The Supreme undivided, complete in himself,
Embracing past and present,
Dwells in Man.
Within Him I shall find myself—
The 'I' that reaches everywhere.

*

Breath
Is the bridge
Between being
And being not.
Called by people
"Life" and "Death".

The timeless,
All containing life,
One without a second
Has nothing to oppose.
The opposite of death
Is birth.

Inhaling—
I am born.
Exhaling—
I die.
In the meantime
My life
Flows,
Unaffected.

Praise be!
—Yosy A. Flug
  

George Demont Otis     San Framcisco Bay from Corte Madera Grade

 

Ode to Joy—Friedrich von Schiller, Translated by Donna Hewitt

[Wrapping your arms around the world with kisses full of joy…In the single most inspired and magnificent piece of music ever created, Ludwig von Beethoven drew his Choral Finale of his masterpiece Ninth Symphony from the poet Friedrich von Schiller's Ode to Joy. Has who we naturally are, Oneness, heaven and earth, the moon and starry firmament, ever been more beautifully expressed?-WJF]

O friends, not these tones!
Rather, let us tune our voices,
In more pleasant and more joyful song.

Joy, beauteous, godly spark,
Daughter of Elysium,
Drunk with fire, O Heavenly One,
We come unto your sacred shrine.
Your magic once again unites
That which Fashion sternly parted,
All men are made brothers
Where your gentle wings abide.

He who has won in that great gamble
Of being friend unto a friend,
He who has found a good woman,
Let him add his jubilation too!
Yes-he who can call even one soul
On earth his own!
And he who never has, let him steal
Weeping from this company.

All creatures drink of Joy
At Nature's breasts.
All good, all evil souls
Follow in her rose-strewn wake.
She gave us kisses and vines,
And a friend who has proved faithful even in death. Lust was given to the serpent,
And the Cherub stands before God.

As joyously as His suns fly
Across the glorious landscape of the heavens,
Brothers, follow your appointed course,
Gladly, like a hero to the conquest.

Joy, beauteous, godly spark,
Daughter of Elysium,
Drunk with fire, O Heavenly One,
We come unto your sacred shrine.
Your magic once again unites
That which Fashion sternly parted,
All men are made brothers
Where your gentle wings abide.

Be embraced, ye Millions!
This kiss to the whole world!
Brothers-beyond the canopy of the stars
Surely a loving Father dwells.

Do you fall headlong, ye Millions?
Have you any sense of the Creator, World?
Seek Him above the canopy of the stars!
Surely He dwells beyond the stars.

Joy, beauteous, godly spark,
Daughter of Elysium,
Drunk with fire, O Heavenly One,
We come unto your sacred shrine.

Be embraced, ye Millions!
This kiss to the whole world!

Do you fall headlong, ye Millions?
Have you any sense of the Creator, World?
Seek Him above the canopy of the stars
Brothers-beyond the canopy of the stars
Surely a loving Father dwells

Joy, Daughter of Elysium!
Your magic once again unites
That which Fashion sternly parted.
All men are made brothers
Where our gentle wings abide.

Be embraced, ye Millions!
This kiss to the whole world!
Brothers-beyond the canopy of the stars
Surely a loving Father dwells.
Joy, beauteous, godly spark,
Daughter of Elysium!
Joy, beauteous, godly spark!

A Psalm of Life—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
"Life is but an empty dream!"
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us further than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.

*

Love is not to be taken lightly.
Courageous one
Wishing to enter this play
Know: there are
No conditions nor limits.
One rule: it is all or nothing.
No regrets. No returns.
The only requirement is
Losing your self
Totally and completely
Leaving no trace
Of "I" or "mine"

In the game of love,
The loser
Takes all.
—Yosy A. Flug
 

Fireflies—Rabindranath Tagore

I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall.
The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.

Let my love, like sunlight, surround you
and yet give you illumined freedom.

Love remains a secret even when spoken,
for only a lover truly knows that he is loved.

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil
is no freedom for the tree.

In love I pay my endless debt to thee
for what thou art.
 

The Great Way—Seng Ts'an, Third Zen patriarch, 6th century China

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent,
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smaller distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth,
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing
is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things and such
erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other,
you will never know Oneness.
Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing
you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the Source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment,
there is a going beyond appearances and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
we call real only because of our ignorance.
Do not search for the Truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.

*

I am,
Self identity
Is a donkey.
Mind, name, form, feelings
Emotions, cravings, hopes and fears
All included merely an ass.
We all are donkeys, whether considered most intelligent
And revered as such
Or regarded as the dumbest of the dumb
No different from plain asses
Likewise subject to birth, growth, decay and death.
But the remember, friend,
Lucky seeker after truth,
That the master, the all pervading
Nameless self
Is boundless and beyond time.
Peerless ghost rider
Directing and guiding all donkeys,
The herd owner and sustainer
Is the same resplendent one and only,
Birthless and deathless reality.
There is no other. So
Wake up from dreams of selfhood, oh fortunate!
Friend of bright prospects,
Enjoy the frolics
Of the dead donkey
While there is time.
—Yosy A. Flug
 

If the teacher taught

There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.
We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn't the preacher praught.
If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
Of a language where a house can burn up as
It burns down
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes!
English was invented by people, not computers
And it reflects the creativity of the human race
(Which of course isn't a race at all)
That is why When the stars are out they are visible
But when the lights are out they are invisible
And why it is that when I wind up my watch It starts
But when I wind up this observation, It ends.
—Author Unknown

 

George Demont Otis     Lagunitas SRA

 


true spirituality
and love
cannot be taught.
but luckily,
if attitude,
company
and circumstances
are right,
it can be
effortlessly
caught.
—Yosy A. Flug
 

Mercy—William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest, -
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes;
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway, -
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice.

There is something I don't know
That I am supposed to know.
I don't know what it is I don't know,
and yet am supposed to know,
and I feel I look stupid
if I seem both not to know it
and not know what it is I don't know.
Therefore I pretend I know it.
This is nerve-racking
since I don't know what I must pretend to know.
Therefore I pretend to know everything.

I feel you know what I am supposed to know
But you can't tell me what it is
because you don't know that I don't know what it is.

You may know what I don't know, but not
that I don't know it,
And I can't tell you. So you will have to tell me everything
 

Do You Love Me?—R. D. Laing,Do You Love Me?

SHE do you love me?
HE Yes I love you
SHE best of all?
HE Yes best of all
SHE more than the whole world?
HE yes more than the whole world
SHE do you like me?
HE yes I like you
SHE do you like being near me?
HE yes I like being near you
SHE do you think I'm stupid?
HE no I don't think you're stupid
SHE do you think I'm attractive?
HE yes I think you're attractive
SHE do I bore you?
HE no you don't bore me
SHE do you like my eyebrows?
HE yes I like your eyebrows
SHE very much?
HE very much
SHE which one do you like the most?
HE if I say one the other will be jealous
SHE do have to say
HE they are both exquisite
SHE honest?
HE honest
SHE have I got nice eyelashes?
HE yes nice nice eyelashes
SHE do you like to smell me?
HE yes I like to smell you
SHE do you like my perfume?
HE yes I like your perfume
SHE do you think I've good taste?
HE yes I think you have good taste
SHE do you think I'm talented?
HE yes I think you're talented
SHE you don't think I'm lazy?
HE no I don't think you're lazy
SHE do you like to touch me?
HE yes I like to touch you
SHE do you think I'm funny?
HE only in a nice way
SHE are you laughing at me?
HE no I'm not laughing at you
SHE do you really love me?
HE yes I really love you
SHE say "I love you"
HE I love you
SHE do you want to hug me?
HE yes I want to hug you, and cuddle you,
and bill and coo with you
SHE is it all right?
HE yes it's all right
SHE swear you'll never leave me
HE I swear I'll never ever leave you, cross my heart
and hope to die if I tell a lie
SHE Do you really love me?
 

THE SAD GAME—Hafiz, The Gift

Blame
Keeps the sad game going.
It keeps stealing all your wealth-
Giving it to an imbecile with
No financial skills.
Dear one,
Wise
Up.

UNTIL
Hafiz, The Gift
I think we are frightened every
Moment of our lives
Until we
Know
Him.
 

THE SUBURBS—Hafiz, The Gift

Complaint
Is only possible

While living in the suburbs
Of God.
 

FIND A BETTER JOB—Hafiz, The Gift

Now
That
All your worry
Has proved such an
Unlucrative
Business,
Why
Not
Find a better
Job.
 

HOW FASCINATING—Hafiz, The Gift

How
Fascinating the idea of death
Can be.
Too bad, though,
Because
It just isn't
True.
 

ONLY ONE RULE—Hafiz, The Gift

The sky
Is a suspended blue ocean.
The stars are the fish that swim.

The planets are the white whales I sometimes
Hitch a ride
On.

The sun and all light
Have forever fused themselves into my heart
And upon my
Skin.

There is only one rule on this Wild Playground.

Every sign Hafiz has ever seen
Reads the same.

They all say,

"Have fun, my dear; my dear, have fun,
In the Beloved's divine
Game,

O, in the Beloved's
Wonderful
Game.

 

George Demont Otis     Spring Marin

 

 

 


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