Letters to MAM

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Re: Charles Tart to Tucson III: 'Mindfulness Matters"

7 July 1998

Dear Perk,

Just read through the article quickly (June issue of MAM); excellent! Good to know one can take notes, practice and remember all at the same time!

The only suggestion I could make is that you might recommend my "Waking Up" and/or "Living the Mindful Life" books for those who want more detail, and add a link to my web page where people could either order the books or look for other articles of mine that they may find relevant and of interest.

Would you mind if I put a link from my web site to your article?


Charles T. Tart, Ph.D.
Professor, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
Palo Alto, California
Home page & archives: http://www.paradigm-sys.com/cttart/


Sez John:

We're honored to exchange links with you, Dr. Tart.

And we do recommend your books to our readers (already mentioned elsewhere in the site), and recognize in them *pioneering teachings* that enable a reader to actually do it, and catch on.

John Bilby

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Perk sez:

Thanks, Charley. Glad you liked it.

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Re: Marilyn's Editorial, and the Site
25 June 1998

Dear John,

Your website is looking great! I enjoyed the time I spent in the kindergarten today, albeit shorter than I would like. Marilyn's editorial (June issue of MAM) was superb!

I am grateful that we have been able to get together a couple of times over the last months and delight in continuing to nourish our friendship over the web and, hopefully, in person as time passes. If I don't see you before we move the first week in August, a big hug via e-mail and a heartfelt invitation to visit us and stay in our guestroom in Hurricane, when you're in the mood for beautiful country.

I honor the great work you are doing, John. I look forward to following it and hopefully contributing in some small way to it.


Dave David B. Tate, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Consultant,
Mindfulness Meditation Teacher
Oro Valley, Arizona


Sez John:

Yes! We are really hoping to see an article by Dave in a future issue of MAM! He is a protegé of Jon Kabat-Zinn ("Wherever You Go, There You Are -- Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life," Hyperion, 1994, and other acclaimed books in this field) and a practitioner of the mindful methods Kabat-Zinn teaches in the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

During the recent years that he has been practicing in Tucson, I've had the pleasure of attending mindfulness training workshops conducted by him, and by his mentor. To me, Dave's most striking feature as a teacher is his gentleness. Now he's moving his practice from the "Old Pueblo" here, where his approach will be much missed. He'll be giving monthly workshops at the Elms Hotel and Resort in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. In the long run, he will be opening a retreat for teaching mindfulness-based stress reduction in a beautiful rural setting near Zion's National Park in southern Utah. We'll have a link here at this site for browsers to visit there one day. And I hope that Dave will visit us from time to time in the Campus Forum.

Goodbye, my friend,


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Re: Conversations with Don Coyotl

10 June 1998

Dear John,

Just finished reading the transcripts of your talks with don Coyotl in their entirety (April issue of Mindful Awareness Magazine). Whew! This ought to be a book in its own right. You are in the sorcerers' big leagues, for sure.

I wish I could follow up on my intention to connect with the Tensegrity teachings I started reading about last fall. I felt in touch with those energies again while reading don Coyotl's words to you; there is a place very deep in my soul that resonates with that worldview.

It is the women who teach the tensegrity path that I'm most identifying with now. The book, The Sorcerer's Crossing, was an epiphany for me; I practiced the Recapitulations that were described in it and experienced a definite boost to my energetic field while in recovery from a time of great stress and emotional trauma.

These transcripts are priceless, and the arrival in your life of this being is no accident, and bodes well, I think, for your approach to the *abstract flight*.

Sylvia Cienfuegos Southwestern U.S.

Sez John in reply:

Thanks, Sylvia. The URL of the website of Carlos Castaneda's Tensegrity, presented by Cleargreen Incorporated, is: http://www.cleargreen.com/

Enjoy your visit there. And, yes, don Coyotl is a treasure!


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Re: the Teaching Tools

17 May 1998

Dear John,

Thank you for sending the new books ("The Awareness Game," and "Being Human--a Catalog of Insights.") It has taken me all semester, but I have worked through each of them slowly, a little bit day by day. In this way I have tried to be careful, knowing that the reading isn't the primary location of the value of these books.

The Awareness Game is an easy book to read. I think it may have only taken me a couple of hours to read through the whole of it. The doing of it has taken months.

A couple of days on colors. A couple on texture. I'd read an exercise and do it while walking to the place where I catch my bus. Then I'd read another and do it while I'm riding on the bus. Then, "can I stay awake this whole elevator ride from the first to the ninth floor where my office is?" A few days on what's in this space.

The wheel book ("Being Human") also has required a great deal of application. Waking up enough to pay attention to who is in the room with me and how all of us are acting is very, very hard. And then, after just noticing, applying what I have noticed to what I have studied in the wheel book is also challenging.

The work is, in my opinion, excellent in every way. It is accessible to anyone. In fact, the "game" seems almost overly simple at times. I found myself wondering, "what is the point of doing this" during several of the exercises. "Really, what am I going to learn by picking up this salt shaker?" I was able to see my ego at work, and I was able to focus enough to find great value in all of the exercises.

Each one led to some new insight. Each laid the foundation for the next and built on the foundation of the previous. What I learned is that this "game" is really an ongoing process. I am never going to learn to always be aware and awake. Yet I can learn exercises that will help me wake up as a normal part of every day.

Your discussion of the reason why someone would wish for this awareness was persuasively and poetically laid out in the introduction. The one thing I might have done differently is studied the wheel book first. Then I might have better seen my own ego reactions to the exercises in the "game" book.

Now that I have studied the wheel book, I would like to go back and work through the game book again. I think it will be a different experience. The wheel book itself is so well done. It is such a useful study of human behavior in such a useful presentation. I see myself going back to it time and time again until it really is something I have mastered. I know it will be so useful for my own growth and to all of my relationships.

In terms of the actual writing, I think the book is excellent. Straightforward, easy to read, clear, concise. I have no criticisms or suggestions. It seems just as it should be.

Well then, I am all praise. Genuine praise for work that is well crafted and enormously useful. I wish you great success with the sharing of these books via the Web (see Services for Fees at the accompanying Teaching Tools for Mindfulness Training website).

. I offer you whatever help I can provide in moving it out into the world. I think it is goodness. It has played an important part in my enjoyment of this year. In fact, the Awareness Game is fun.


Associate Professor Rob Sabal
Department of Visual and Media Arts
Emerson College
Boston, Massachusetts

Sez John in reply:

Thank you so much for this, Rob. You've helped a lot! I can get away with printing this gorgeously favorable review of my work in the Letters section of MAM because it is truly "unsolicited." I'm grateful not only for the praise that you have given here, but mostly for the articulate account that you present, describing using these teaching tools for practicing and developing your dual abilities with mindful awareness and with understanding the ordinary human condition.

It wouldn't be fair not to share with readers that you were a student of mine in Tucson a number of years ago, while teaching filmmaking at the University of Arizona, and that you sent for these two workbooks since moving away to Boston in order to have an update of the newer awareness trainings that I give here in recent years.

I'm very proud of you for doing this work with the workbooks, and for composing this good letter which is a teaching in itself. And I sense your progress in mindfulness will continue to proliferate. My very best wishes to you and yours.


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June MAM cover page | Services with Fees   (including workbooks)

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