Mettatouch - The Touch of Loving Kindness

we must be the change we wish to see in the world...

Mahatma Gandhi

Metta-Touch - intentions and goodwill 

From the Buddhist Pali text -  metta (mettaa): Loving kindness, gentle friendship; a practice for generating lovingkindness said to be first taught by the Buddha as an antidote to fear. It helps cultivate our natural capacity for an open and loving heart and is traditionally offered along with other Brahma-Vihara meditations that enrich compassion, joy in the happiness of others and equanimity. These practices lead to the development of concentration, fearlessness, happiness and a greater ability to love.

touch (touch):  To physically, emotionally or spiritually make contact with a person, such that they have been impacted in some way.

Are we being the change we wish to see in the world?  We ask the question, who am I? 

My story is that I am a survivor, a spirit having a human being experience, a man, a husband, a father, a friend, a business man, consultant, technologist and Interfaith Minister.  Physically, I stand 6'2" and weigh somewhere near 200lbs (on a good day!), with brown hair and green/blue eyes.  But, is this who I am? 

I have a story that I tell.  I've survived cancer twice, a broken home, broken relationships, heart ache, I've hurt others and have been hurt, had disappointment, but I am still captivated by life (can you afford not to be?).  I am recovering (daily) and living every day, practicing, practicing and then more practice, doing my best to live a full life that is present, as a human being.  But, is this who I am? 

I am also a human doing.  I am a spiritual seeker, public speaker and advocate for living a balanced life, zen student, yoga teacher, therapist, successful corporate executive, consultant and coach. But, is this who I am? 

Who are we...really?  What are we doing here?  What is it that I must do for my life, right now?  What do I want the story of my life to be?  What am I to be as a human being?  When we show up for the world and the world looks or acts we stand or run away?  How are we going to be a positive force in relationships, with people, places and things, not when they are good, but when they are bad?  Are we creators, who create the story, or are we victims, who take what is given and cry or "act out" on the story that we can't let go of?

These are the questions that occupy the lives of many.  I have taken time, and still do, to study Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Zen, Taoism, Hinduism and ancient wisdom.  They all point to questions of philosophy, psychology, myth, music, dance, celebration and community building.  I have gone into the corporate world, with experiences at AT&T, MCI, BT, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and other corporate communities.  They have given me a deep appreciation for the "issues" that we all face, as we balance our need to survive, with our "story" about who we are.  We warriors who put on armor to battle, to bring home our bounties, and we call this business.  
I have been an actor, voice over professional, consultant, coach, Interfaith Minister and counselor to business leaders. I have recently completed my Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) training and am working with individuals to recover.  I am doing my best to give of myself, understanding that we all have different faiths, philosophies, experiences and reconciling of our stories to guide healing.  The common human experience and story is that we have all experienced some level of regret, remorse, trauma, hurt and loss in some way.  This is the path to growth and the path to recovery.  We talk, hear, heal and understand ourselves to show up for this journey called life.  This is what we are obliged to do.  To help people do, to show up and not run away from themselves...our journey.

Our paths take us through schools for experience.  Mine have been both formal and informal.  Lee Strasberg Actors Studio, Esalen, Omega, Shalom Mountain Retreat & Study Center, Integral Yoga Institute, Zen Centers, The New York Open Center, St. Peter's College (a Catholic Jesuit College) or Fordham University (another Jesuit Catholic College) for an MBA program.  The Interfaith dialog started at The New Seminary, and has continued after my ordination at New York City's St. John the Divine, in 2003.  I have been an interfaith member of the clergy at The Church of the Village in New York City. I am married, have kids, grandchildren, and have had the blessing of being able to council, coach and marry people.

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