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Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated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 But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.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 6

I think, therefore I am mistaken.
thoughts and feelings come and go,
thoughts pass. change lasts...
but the omnipresent, nameless
our inexplicable essence/self
remains forever unaffected,
whole, boundless and free.
all containing without another,
it is what is (and/or isn't), timeless,
void of identity and impersonal.
remember, my friend:
temporary name and form,
however sublime --
is merely
an ass!
—Yosy A. Flug


Suffering is not enough.
Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many
wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby.

To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of
life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time.

If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and
happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the
same roof.

If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and
blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire
society, will benefit from our peace."
—Thich Nhat Hanh


there is only one nation - the nation of humanity.
there is only one language - the language of the heart.
there is only one religion - the religion of love.
there is only one teacher -- life itself.
and god/truth/love is one without a second -- timeless,
boundless and omnipresent.
—Yosy A. Flug


it is here

in the breath

it is here

in the stillness between breaths

it is here

in the active mind

it is here

in the resting mind

it is here

in the dream's panorama

it is here

in each moment of awakening

it is here

when all is well

it is here

when fear has nothing left to fear

even then

there is pure noticing

even then

there is no need for doing

no frantic searching

can find the obvious

no seeking needed

to find that which seeks

it is here

where it can never be lost

or found
—"Gifts With No Giver" , by Nirmala-a collection of advaita (nondual) satsang poetry


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
Gets it all.
—Yosy A. Flug

George Demont Otis     A Marin Farm

Open Space

Open Space
is the placeless place
where all (such) prayers and elevated intentions
come to full fruition.

Open Space is the one taste
that pervades all beings, all events.

Open Space is not space.
Open Space is not something open or closed.
Open Space does not have any form.
Open Space is not formlessness.
One cannot describe Open Space by saying what it is not.
There is no way to describe
what already is.

There is nothing inside Open Space,
there is nothing outside it.
But Open Space is a mother nursing her child.
Open Space is a child's game.
Open Space is the justice, the beauty, the mercy,
the transparent light that manifests as cosmos.
Open Space is plenitude.
Everything that spiritual traditions long for,
supplicate for, envision,
and have envisioned profoundly and authentically
from the very beginning of consciousness,
all this richness is the plenitude of Open Space.

Open Space is what is hearing at this moment.
Open Space is the temporality
that we identify as this moment.
Open Space is infinitely articulate.
It speaks through every possible language.
It speaks through the nonverbal gestures of our lives.
Its perfect silence is perfect speech.
Its perfect speech is perfect silence.

A profusion, a cascade of names
are indicating Open Space.
Here are some of the names of Open Space:
microphone, floor, hands, eyes,
air, chandelier, Chicago, planet Earth.

Open Space is sublime reticence.
Not a single explanation, not a single statement
issues from Open Space.
Words cease to be words for Open Space.
Sounds cease to be sounds,
tastes cease to be tastes,
for Open Space.
We lose ourselves
in order to find ourselves
as Open Space.
—Lex Hixon


today is
yesterday's tomorrow,
and this is
the only afterlife
I know.

we chose
heaven and hell
and all
in between
with each
and every

surrendering to grace
burns all karma
to ashes;
God's infinite mercy
in a blink
of an eyelid.

so die right now
ya yosy!
and thus
—Yosy A. Flug


Freedom is not
Freedom is not
Freedom is
where you feel joy.

Without learning anything
you know everything
and having everything
you are bound by nothing;
this is the true nature
of a free soul.
—Swami Amar Jyoti


Not describing
Nor discussing
What enlightenment
It is so simple
It's a shame to admit
Even the lowest of the base
Know it.
Yet the most profound intellect
Can but glimpse
A mere reflection
Of its depths.
No amount of words
Can describe the taste
Of honey.
The enlightened ask not
They are
The answer.
—Yosy A. Flug

George Demont Otis     Autumn Splendor

Why should I fear Death
And restrict my faith to Life only?
If Life is a Miracle of God
Why not Death be the less?
Death is nothing, boy
But a constituent of Life!


In god's infinite mercy
The holy book of books
Is being written
That the blind
Can read it
The deaf
Can hear it
And it's scent
Can pervade
The insomniac's

It is hidden
Yet revealed
In the silence
Of the dervish's emptied heart
It is
Water upon water
It is

Forget your books, ya Yosy,
Stick with me,
And dance!
—Yosy A. Flug


Today I Awoke

Today I awoke, finally I see the Self has re-turned to the Self.
The Self is none other than the Self.
I am deathless. I am endless. I am free.
The birds outside sing...
The birds outside sing and there am I.
The seeing of leaves on the trees, that seeing am I.
The body breathes, breathing am I.
I am awake and I know that I am awake.
Seen from the old eyes, everything is asleep, a game, a delusion.
But now I am awake. I am the play. I am the game. I am the delusion.
I am the enlightenment I sought, looking everywhere.
Nothing is separate, nothing is alone.
I am all that I see. All that I smell, taste, touch, feel, think and know.
I am awake and this awakeness is the same as Shyakyamuni Buddha's.
Today the leaf has returned to the root.
I am all name and form and beyond all name and form.
I am Spirit, no longer trapped in a body.
I am free. I am free because I am awake.
So ordinary.
Who would have thought ?
Who could have guessed?
I am home. I am really home. Ten thousand life times.
Ten thousand life times but today I am home.
Ten thousand life times but today I am home.
This is not an experience. This is me.
I am awake. Finally, I am awake.
Nothing has changed, but I am awake.
Before I tasted the root many times and felt, how delicious.
Today I became the root. How ordinary.


Abandoning intent

Right intent
Is no intent.
When all is perfect, whole,
Just as it should be --
Only gratitude
What intent can arise?
Can any purpose spring up
And be
In the absence
—Yosy A. Flug


This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet,
to regard this world as invisible,
and to disregard what appears to be the self.
Heart, I said, what a gift it has been
to enter this circle of lovers,
to see beyond seeing itself,
to reach and feel within the breast."


"Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming Herself, unabashed.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.
Having died of self-interest,
She risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again."


"A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden's beauty
and the birds singing,
and the the stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I un-selfed will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together you and I
in one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.
—Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi, the great Sufi Master of Love

George Demont Otis     Hills of TwoCounties

the wise, naked and weak,
like a new born baby,
wanders about in midst of battlefield
and rambles casually
in the darkest parts of the jungle,
roaming dauntlessly
among the fiercest predators.
boundless, whole,
void of any trace of fear -
where can a claw, fang or tooth
find a place to sink in
or an arrow penetrate?
what weapon can hurt
the timeless,
—Yosy A. Flug


Being a lover of Her
She kisses me every day
I am in adoration of Her.
She embraces me all the time


Deep honor and love for my Teacher who is Silence too.
We all are! We tend to forget that.
Here we are, Silence on Her way to the forefront to know Herself.
It is funny I AM Silence and at the same time I AM in love with Silence
I AM in Love with My Self
So still, radiant, alive, and delicious.


What is Silence? We all want Silence, Awareness and Consciousness.
But what is Silence? Who is Silence? Who is in there?
Please reveal Yourself to me, Please speak to me show me Your Divinity.
I can't rest before I deeply know You.
Oh, my love You are All I want to Be and realize as Me
I bow to you


I don't know if there exist any words that can describe this Silence, this Beauty, this All ness. Have you noticed She is everywhere and everything?!
I kiss Her back all the time
You are my deepest Love
I am relaxing in the Great Silence, knowing that She takes care of everything. I deeply know She is always here.
She is 'is-sing' all the time. I rest in her arms.
Dearest how can I love you more? Dearest How can I Be you more?
Be Still. Can you hear Me? I always speak and reveal My Self to you.

—Marlies Cocheret


The love of God, unutterable and perfect

Dante Alighieri (1265? - 1321)

English version by Stephen Mitchell

The love of God, unutterable and perfect,
flows into a pure soul the way that light
rushes into a transparent object.
The more love that it finds, the more it gives
itself; so that, as we grow clear and open,
the more complete the joy of heaven is.
And the more souls who resonate together,
the greater the intensity of their love,
and, mirror-like, each soul reflects the other.


do not ever try.
life is too short for that.
my dear, decide:
either you do - and then
do the best you can --
or do not do at all.
and whatever you do
do it wholeheartedly,
not minding the result.
if you fail,
and want to --
do it again. and again.
but never, never try!
—Yosy A. Flug


The Moon of Your Love

Muhammad Shirin Maghribi (1349 - 1406)
English version by David & Sabrineh Fideler

Not a single soul lacks
a pathway to you.

There's no stone,
no flower --
not a single piece of straw --
lacking your existence.

In every particle of the world,
the moon of your love
causes the heart
of each atom to glow.

George Demont Otis     Gray Day

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
Gets it all.
—Yosy A. Flug

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveler hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveler to the shore.
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


definitions, borders, rules...
they confine, restrict, direct.
but the wind
knows nothing
of this
and the sky
cannot be bound.
if you trap the wind

ya yosy,
let your spirit

this moment
is one
with the ocean
of time.
—Yosy A. Flug


The Moor

R. S. Thomas (1913 - 2000)

—It was like a church to me.
I entered it on soft foot,
Breath held like a cap in the hand.
It was quiet.
What God was there made himself felt,
Not listened to, in clean colours
That brought a moistening of the eye,
In movement of the wind over grass.

There were no prayers said. But stillness
Of the heart's passions -- that was praise
Enough; and the mind's cession
Of its kingdom. I walked on,
Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
And broke on me generously as bread.

—from For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics by Roger Housden


Third side of a coin

fools and the ignorant
that each coin has two sides.
therefore, identifying with one,
they vehemently oppose
the other...
but the wise see the obvious:
is the third side of the coin.
and thus, identifying with none
remain forever
—Yosy A. Flug


When They Sleep

Rolf Jacobsen (1907 - 1994)
English version by Robert Hedin

All people are children when they sleep.
there's no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
— God, teach me the language of sleep.

George Demont Otis     My Audience


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