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Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated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 But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.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 9
 

Spring comes
And the grass
Grows by itself
—Author Unknown

*

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
—Wendell Berry

*

He who binds to himself a joy
does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
lives in eternity's sunrise.
—William Blake

*

Laughter
Is fear's
Greatest dread
Its deadly
Enemy.

No fear
Can survive
Heartfelt laughter...
Remember, lucky friend:

God's will created
All this
With a wink,
For amusement,
Pure joy
And everlasting
Delight!

Timeless bliss
Beyond mind
Impersonal and boundless
Is your true, essential
Nature.

So, reposing in this remembrance,
Cultivate fearlessly
Your unconditioned
Inner smile!
—Yosy A. Flug

*

All beings in the world
Are beyond the realm of words.
Their ultimate nature, pure and true,
Is like the infinity of space.
—Prajnaparamita


George Demont Otis     Mount Shasta

whirlpool of despair

caught
in the whirlpool
of despair,
fighting desperately
against the ruthlessly dragging,
spiraling vortex,
convoluting into the abyss -
realize: here force is of no use.

let go.
fearlessly
abandon the engagement.

allow yourself to be drawn inert
into the deep.
lose all dismay in the profundity.
pulled in, forsaking
illusionary selfhood,
submit wholly,
merge and blend
into the void… delight!

free at last, see the wonder:
the only way out is through!
—Yosy A. Flug

*

Holy Ground

Let the vision
of the vastness
you are
leave you
in glorious
ruins.

Pilgrims will come
to imagine
the grand temple
that once stood,
not realizing

the wreck
made this empty plain
holy ground.
—Ivan M. Granger

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/nameless is one without a second—timeless, boundless and omnipresent.
—Yosy A. Flug

*

I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.
—Rumi

*

Help us to be always hopeful,
Gardeners of the spirit
Who know that without darkness
Nothing comes to birth
As without light
Nothing flowers.
—Mary Sarton

*

shadow play of opposites

"good" and "evil" are merely two sides
of same one coin; they depend upon identity...
the apparent win of one side
is another side's loss.
they are interchangeable.
it is just a matter of time...

but truth is the third side of the coin.
the real is one without another,
self evident, whole and indivisible,
inexplicable and changeless.

glorious, timeless and ever-present
all pervading and all containing
nameless and boundless essence.
the consciousness/life/god itself..
—Yosy A. Flug

*

Otherwise

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
—Jane Kenyon, Otherwise, 1996


George Demont Otis     Gray Day

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

*

The Story of a Story

Once upon a time there was a story

Its end came
before its beginning
And its beginning came
After its end

Its heroes entered it
After their death
And left it
Before their birth

Its heroes talked
About some earth about some heaven
The said all sorts of things

Only they didn't say
What they themselves didn't know
That they are only heroes in a story

In a story whose end comes
Before its beginning
And whose beginning comes
after its end.
—Vasko Popa, translated from the Serbo-Croat by Anne Pennington,
from Staying Alive edited by Neil Astley

*

As I was strolling leisurely
along the waterline
of the ocean of existence
picking up and toying with
smooth pebbles
of concepts and ideas
digging
empty shells of discarded beliefs
suddenly
I was snatched
by a tsunami wave
of unconditioned passion
which bore me
helpless and supine
corpse like
far inland.

and then,
torn to pieces and gutted
I was carried back to sea
and lost without a trace
in the depths
of the endless ocean
of absolute
love
—Yosy A. Flug

Thanatopis

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart;--
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air--
Comes a still voice:--
Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground
Where thy pale form was laid with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thine eternal resting place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings,
The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,--the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods--rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,--
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.--Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashing--yet the dead are there;
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men--
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the grayheaded man--
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
—William Cullen Bryant


George Demont Otis     Rocky Coast

You and I were never born.
I and you will never die.
beloved,
"You" and "I"
is just a dream
reflecting
in eternal
eye
—Yosy A. Flug

*

Sabbaths 1985, V

How long does it take to make the woods?
As long as it takes to make the world.
The woods is present as the world is, the presence
of all its past and of all its time to come.
It is always finished, it is always being made, the act
of its making forever greater than the act of its destruction.
It is a part of eternity for its end and beginning
belong to the end and beginning of all things,
the beginning lost in the end, the end in the beginning.

What is the way to the woods, how do you go there?
By climbing up through the six days' field,
kept in all the body's years, the body's
sorrow, weariness, and joy. By passing through
the narrow gate on the far side of that field
where the pasture grass of the body's life gives way
to the high, original standing of the trees.
By coming into the shadow, the shadow
of the grace of the strait way's ending,
the shadow of the mercy of light.
Why must the gate be narrow?
Because you cannot pass beyond it burdened.
To come into the woods you must leave behind
the six days' world, all of it, all of its plans and hopes.
You must come without weapon or tool, alone,
expecting nothing, remembering nothing,
into the ease of sight, the brotherhood of eye and leaf.
—Wendell Berry

*

the sky appears blue in daytime, grey when overcast,
and as star-splattered darkness at the fall of night...but
whether it's dark or light, be it night or day,
whatever colors appear, this does not affect
the boundless, all pervading and colorless sky.
—Yosy A. Flug

The beauty of the heart
is the lasting beauty:
its lips give to drink
of the water of life.
Truly it is the water,
that which pours,
and the one who drinks.
All three become one when
your talisman is shattered.
That oneness you can't know
by reasoning.
—Rumi

*

Deep in my looking,
the last words vanished.
Joyous and silent,
the waking that met me there."
—Lalla (India, 14th Century)

*

mind may crawl
mind may aspire
mind may renounce
and mind may desire.

mind may be seeing
and mind may be blind
mind can be seeking,
and mind can find...

mind plays it's games.

but
I
don't
mind!
—Yosy A. Flug

*

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
—Thich Nhat Hanh

*

There is a way between voice and presence
where information flows.
In disciplined silence it opens.
With wandering talk it closes.
—Rumi

*

HAVE MERCY

I may not have
anything to say
but I make up for it
by talking excessively

Freedom of speech
is what you got
Freedom from speech
is what you want

Lord deliver us
from those who would
force things on us
for our own good
—Steve Toth


George Demont Otis     Rocky Mountains
 

In the heart of a human being,
emptiness becomes love.
When we touch that Source,
instantly the love is present.
Literally, the divine becomes human
and the human becomes divine.
—Adyashanti

*

I live my life

I live my life in growing orbits
which move out over the things of the world.
Perhaps I can never achieve the last,
but that will be my attempt.

I am circling around God, around the ancient tower,
and I have been circling for a thousand years,
and I still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm,
or a great song.
—Rainer Maria Rilke

*

Quatrain

`To really be breathed through
By the rightness of each moment-
That would be living in the light…'
`That would be living', you replied.
—Jay Ramsay

*

It's been many years
since I could find a problem.
I know better
than to take my dreams
to analysts and those whose lives
are rutted in consensus reality,
still arguing with what is.

I share my dreams now
with siddhas and sanyasins,
and the occasional dervish
though they're harder to find,
and those whose illusions
have been joyously demolished
by God.

Most people seek
(and perhaps find a temporary)
happiness
through 'getting what they want.'
Or, what they think they want.
I was raised in the opposite way:
to want what I get.
To truly savor it.

The equanimity
that stays
has little to do with getting
or for that matter, losing, anything.

And no, beloved friend,
you are not
"everything I wanted"
but you are the love letter
the most exquisitely beautiful
and imperfectly perfect love letter
sent to me by God.

I am drenched,
utterly drenched in bewilderment
and poetry,
gloriously unhinged
and loving this dance!
—Rashani Rea

Once
I started
To speak
About love
Drawing out words
And images
Which, slow at first
Kept welling up
Flowing faster
Than I could draw...

And then they burst out
Gushing
Like a fountain.

So
I fell silent
Just watching
This endless spring
Unconcerned.

When thirsty,
I drink.
Tired, I doze off.
All is
As it should
Be.
—Yosy A. Flug

*

A Cloth of Fine Gold

Dorothy Walters (1928 - )

 
You may think

that first lit flame

was the ultimate blaze,

the holy fire

entered at last.

What do you know of furnaces?

This is a sun that returns

again and again, refining, igniting,

pouring your spirit

through a cloth of delicate gold

until all dross is taken

and you are sweet as

clarified butter

in god's mouth.


George Demont Otis     A Marin Farm

 

 


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