Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When is Honesty a Good Virtue or Destructive?

Photo by batega @ flickr

From Denny: The word "honesty" is often batted about like a cheap tennis ball these days. Many people use it as an excuse to be cruel to others for in so doing they think they have taken away someone else's power and gained a step above the one they hurt. It's a sick dance and it's pretty amazing how many people are willing to participate in such a relationship. Too often those are close relationships like parent and child or spouses. No one seems to stop long enough to realize the destructive pattern and then they wonder why they are so unhappy in life.

Honesty does have another side to it in the form of living your own life in Truth. Often it does entail taking a long hard look in the mirror and making changes on the heart level. Honesty is a big help when you are going through that transformation process.

Honesty is best delivered first to self, then to others. And when you are thinking about delivering honesty to others ask yourself one question: Do they really want to hear this? Most times the answer is No, not really.

But what about the friend whose husband is cheating on her? Answer: You don't tell her. You know why? Because she will refuse to believe you. Then the second step is that after she finds out you were telling her the truth she will hate you for telling her. End of your relationship as she reconciles with her annoying husband. I've seen that situation play out time and time again.

We all want to desperately tell our good friends when someone is "doing them wrong." The problem is the vast majority of people are not yet ready to hear - and when they are at that place in their life when they are ready - it will be revealed without your intervention. Your job as a good friend is to wait patiently until your friend comes to you and tells you all about it, seeking comfort from you. Most people do want comfort and sympathy - and will accept it.


"No legacy is so rich as honesty." - William Shakespeare

"Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt someone - and hurt them to the bone - you can feel self-righteous about it at the same time." - Dave Van Ronk

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Monday, June 29, 2009

What Do You Do to Reach Enlightenment and Then Afterward?

Fred M.Supreme Court Chief Justice Frederick Vinson Image via Wikipedia

Alonzo E. Lyon in about 1905 at age 25. He did not become my grandfather until age 80.

From Denny: I've always liked this quote. What's interesting is that my Christian Grand Dad from Kentucky, who had never heard of Zen, taught me the same concept through his wisdom AND his attitude AND his actions - something completely lost on his own son and other grandchildren, even arrogantly dismissed and ignored.

I was the only kid who liked to literally sit at his feet and listen to his tales of his youth, his farming and other business adventures and finally the wisdom of what he had learned in this life. He was one of those rare individuals who read the Bible literally every day as he found great Joy in doing so - yet he never was a finger-in-your-face kind of man. Grand Dad really understood the true messages from Jesus, unlike so many of his time period.

As I was doing some family genealogy I found out many things about my grandfather he never publicized. During his time he felt God blessed him with wealth and, therefore, it was his job to be responsible with that wealth and do a lot in the community. He didn't do that on a flashy basis with his name on a million buildings and show off at public events. He did it one person at a time - just like Jesus.

Basically, he functioned in the office of Apostle as he helped so many people from so many walks of life when they experienced hard times. Then those people went out and passed it forward to help others too.

He was a childhood best friend of a Supreme Court Chief Justice (Vinson) who was deciding about civil rights and segregation. That Justice used to come home to Kentucky and go fishing with Grand Dad (Alonzo Lyon). I know my grandfather; he would not let any moment pass to press for the civil rights of African-Americans. He was horrified and disgusted at the treatment of returning WWII black veterans.

Grand Dad also pressed for women's rights as he considered women " the best of mankind." What a unique attitude for his time! He was the parent - and the inspiration - my father never chose to be. Grand Dad often called him down on his bad attitude, especially toward women, "there was no call for that, not even with children."

Women loved his company. Children flocked to him as I often strolled with him around the neighborhood every summer to share him with the other kids who had grandparents who were indifferent to children. Every summer he was like the local celebrity!

Well into his late 80's he made friends with the local five-year-olds. When questioned about that practice he would reply, "I've outlived my wife, my friends and most of my family including my twin. Besides, you make friends with every generation." With a huge knowing smile and a wink in his eye, "It won't be that long before this little boy will be a young man and we can go fishing together!" He definitely was "a fisher of men."


"Before enlightenment - chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment - chop wood, carry water." ~ Zen Buddhist Proverb

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

George Carlin: Outrageous comedian

George Carlin: Outrageous comedian

"'Life's journey is not to
arrive at the grave safely
in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways,
totally worn out, shouting
'...holy sh*t ....what a ride!'"

By alekhouse @ HubPages

From Denny: Here's an interesting article from a new writer over at HubPages you will enjoy!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Totally Ridiculous Comedy: Jacks Nightclub

Totally Ridiculous Comedy: Jacks Nightclub

By Denny Lyon @ HubPages

From Denny: Wrote this recently as a raucous fast-paced ridiculous short story. It's really a bit long to post here and when that happens I park those writes over at HubPages. Take a look and you will be amused! Thanks for visiting!

Here's an excerpt from my world of the ridiculous:

"Jack jumped over the electric blue fox - who was hunting down the orange cat - who was preying upon the stupid cockroach that was having an identity crisis - and believed he was a popular dragonfly down at the local Irish pub - because he sang Irish songs everyone loved and wrote some damn good poetry.

The orange cat circled back to chase the identity crisis cockroach - who just knew he was really Irish in a former life - while the blue fox preened and bathed in the fast-paced lights of the nightclub – this fox enthusiastically embraced blue as the new fashion neutral - it was Jack who was looking for the weird alien orange cat that kept eluding him - who was stalking the brave Irish-singing cockroach determined to make it to Broadway.

The powerful-singing cockroach drowned out the elegant Irish pub-singing dragonfly - and soon the people customers complained about the strange odd noises blaring from the rising platform – it was two ants standing on a leaf singing opera - and more ants joined them from the audience singing 49 Bottles of Guinness Beer on the Wall and Get Down Tonight! – and soon the nightclub was jumping and bumping - and the people were dancing and squishing and splatting the friendly ants - who got the place hopping on a Saturday night in the first place."

For the rest of the story just click on the title link!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

New Software: Find Out Who Follows Your Tweets on Twitter

Image of Twitter from TwitterImage of Twitter

Photo by PinkMoose @ flickr

From Denny: If you are a blogger and are over at Twitter, try this new fun gadget to help you learn who is following your tweets. Connect with your Peeps! :)

Just plug in your user name @ Twitter:

Twitter Analyzer

Hello to my followers in the following countries and thank you for following, much appreciated!

Here are the countries in order of most followers first - what a surprise to find out Ecuador was right up there with the UK:

Great Britain


New Zealand

South Africa

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Happy Birthday to One Talented Trumpeter!

Jeanne "Gabriel" Pocius, left, with Haiti's Minister of Culture, Director of Music Programs, Florence Elie in June 2009

From Denny: Happy Birthday to a dear friend in Boston, Massachusetts by the name of Jeanne Pocius! She’s a classical musician, teaches and tutors trumpet to adults and children alike. Like a lot of public school music teachers she recently experienced the budget slashing of her music program - and their teachers. Goodbye job. To her credit and good character, she still went out there and performed for several charity benefits that raised money for her local school system because she believes that much in a quality public school education.

It's a shame to put our best teachers out on the street. Through music kids develop a personal discipline that will stay with them for a lifetime. A love of music will also help with the adult years ahead when they are feeling stressed during tough times.

The musician’s life can be a tough one and hers is no exception. They go from gig to gig to pay the bills, never able to put down roots any where. Again, to her credit - since she adores teaching children - she connected up with some missionaries in Haiti who were participating in the country’s culture program of teaching music to their children. Jeanne now goes to Haiti several times a year to teach: for free.

Haiti is one of the poorest nations on the planet and yet they have a Minister of Culture who has created a free program to teach music to children. “Do ya think?” that maybe America could take a page out of their playbook?

A few years ago my very talented friend wrote a wonderful book called “Trumpeting by Nature: An Efficient Guide to Optimal Trumpet Performance" [UNABRIDGED] (Paperback or Kindle edition) that is most useful for both beginning children and adults, full of lots of photos to help demonstrate technique.

I’m featuring this book in The Social Poets Amazon book store under Books on Music (just look above the posts area for the store banner in orange) as it is informative and practical teaching for both the amateur and professional alike. You may have a budding musician in the house or a relative who plays on the weekends and feels stuck on a plateau of playing ability and wants to advance, then this book is a great gift, easy to read.

Cover of "Trumpeting by Nature: An Effici...Cover via Amazon

Reviews at Amazon

"Everything You Wanted To Know About How The Heck To Get a Note Out

P. Olguin (Whittier, CA) All I can say is WOW. This is a complete reference, with illustrations and thorough explanations of how to achieve the optimum set-up for yourself. As a working professional musician, I am always looking for tips on how to make my playing more efficient, more musical, more powerful. It doesn't matter what level you're on, you will learn a great deal here. The best part is, although this book is quite thorough, it is not some dogmatic, rigid, my-way-or-the-highway approach to playing. Jeanne's approach is a flexible (like one's playing should be) cafeteria-style menu of information, technique, philosophy and encouragement. This is destined to be a classic, and rightfully so.

Calling all trumpeters

Martin J. Rooney (Boston MA) This is a great book for any level trumpet player. This book will absolutely help any trumpet player improve their playing. Clear, concise, and best of all, IT WORKS! Text is excellent and the photos, which are top quality, illustrate her points very well.

I truly have seen everything :-}

Wilmer Wise (Brooklyn, NY) My copy of Jeanne G. Pocius "Trumpeting by Nature" came today. WOW! In clear English Jeanne has addressed every question a trumpet player may have. The fonts are great for the older comeback player. It's a sight for sore eyes.

I Wish I Had This 25 Years Ago!

Ralph Longo (Beverly, MA) For those of us who learned to play the trumpet incorrectly or inefficiently, this book is a revelation... What is in this book will help you learn to play at your highest level for a lifetime."

Jeanne is one of those child prodigies that can play over 10 instruments, though concentrates on the trumpet. Nothing is more fun than getting a phone call on your birthday and on the other end is this trumpet playing Happy Birthday like it’s a live concert! Now that’s unique! She is always serenading those close to her, blessing us with the sweet melody of her music. She is a fun and friendly person which is why children respond so well to her; she makes music fun!

Jeanne is available to play weddings for those of you in the Boston area. When other musicians run late (read that as they don’t show up on time when the wedding has started) she pitch-hits the other instruments to make sure the wedding is perfect; talk about a work ethic!

Jeanne also tutors both children and adults. She has tutored people from all over the world who visit regularly to brush up on their technique (and moral support). She can be contacted through Skype: (617) 326-7824 SKYPE ID: jeanne.gabriel.pocius. And Jeanne’s Email: jgpocius@yahoo.com.

Spread the word, folks, and let’s support the arts by supporting talented musicians and teachers!

Happy Birthday, Jeanne!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to Truly Do the Art of Listening

MUSIC: 200603-200803 Listening History GraphListening History Graph Image by Corporal Cacaphony (ClintJCL) via Flickr

From Denny: Here's a tricky one that reads like a "word problem" from high school math class! It reminds me so much of the typical Asian spiritual adept when teaching...

"I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying." ~ Charles C. Finn

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What to be Careful of When Using Your Imagination!

Reflejos de gigantesGigantic Reflections Image by PONCE 2007 via Flickr

From Denny: Leave it to Goethe to instruct us how to best use our imagination! :) This guy was forever entertaining. The photo is a pretty cool pairing with this quote too!

“There is nothing more frightful than imagination without taste.” - Goethe

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Can Make You Wiser Than the Truth?

Ludwig BoerneImage via Wikipedia

From Denny: Since I was a child I've had a love of quotations. Never have I seen anything like this quote expressed! It's the kind of quote that takes a bit of life experience to know that it is true as many of us have wrestled with it whether as children or as adults. Your life is more difficult if you do not learn this life skill - the sooner the better - and it can apply in personal relationships or business.

"Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth." ~ Ludwig Börne

Here is an interesting "I'm trying to figure this all out" article, enjoy!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

What is the Most Successful Action of Love?

GoethePortrait of Goethe Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Goethe's writings sometimes can be difficult to wrap your brain around at times. This has to be one of the clearest things he ever said - and so beautiful in its simplicity and truthfulness! :)

“Love does not dominate; it cultivates.” ~ Goethe

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

3 Kinds of Men to Honor

Peace sign Photo by Steve Rhodes @ flickr


Today is Father’s Day on the calendar and I will be thinking of them throughout this week, we choose this day to honor the good examples of quality men who have influenced our lives beneficially. Most people reflect upon a father, a brother, an uncle, a grandfather, a husband, a good and trusted friend, even a mentor.

Neda killed by the police - Photo by Steve Rhodes @ flickr

Iran Protestors

Considering the political unrest in Iran going on I reflected upon the good men in Iran. These are men who are standing up against injustice and working toward a quality and trustworthy government, willing to give their lives in that pursuit. As a woman, and knowing the negatives in their harsh culture, what has impressed me the most about the male protestors was their willingness to march along side the women (termed the Lipstick Revolution). They also are willing to advance women’s rights.

Even more so, in a public demonstration, they have chosen to go to the defense of women that are strangers to them and not family related. In other words, they choose to be compassionate for the literally downtrodden, for the current harsh regime has ordered their police to target the women first and beat them savagely, kill them as well.

There have been video and cell phone photos released of men running to aid the women as they died. Now that’s a class act and certainly touches my heart for their public courage risks their own lives and that of their families. Yet, they chose to be heroes because someone was vulnerable and in need.

Soldier with peace symbol in hand Photo by Jayel Aheram @ flickr

Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

I think of our American troops in this protracted war the public wants us to end and how this too long of a stressor has taken a huge toll. Suicides are way up the past year from returning troops and those still in the field. PTSD is rampant and difficult to treat. These men (and women) are someone’s parent, spouse, brother (or sister), uncle (or aunt), best friend and mentor.

They also deserve our thoughts and prayers to sustain them during their tough life test. Spiritual testing is often longer than we think we can endure yet eventually we come out on the other side. These troops have the courage to go on when they think they cannot move another step and yet they move forward anyway. Human beings really are not hard-wired for long-term stressful situations like war.

Contemplation Photo by alicepopkorn @ flickr


Today I also reflect upon a wonderful European friend I met while on my travels a decade ago. He is a Carmelite monk by the name of Brother Peter in Austria. What is unique about him is that he works tirelessly with the folks who fall between the cracks of the social network be they refugees (Islamic or Christian) or locals who can’t pay the rent because the husband has a gambling problem. Most of all he spends intensive hours battling the severe rampant depression of suicidal people in his area. He works without notice for what will not bring him status or riches in the world.

Brother Peter is joined with the local Jewish community to help reestablish the Jewish population in Austria that was decimated during WWII and works toward improving Christian and Jewish relations. He is a humble man, a kind man, a sincere man. Most of all he is a loving man like the true Jesus he follows.

I’ve always had a soft spot for monks. They are the global intercessors for Peace. They pray FOR people of all races, religions and misunderstanding - not AGAINST them. As an intercessor I can relate to my Carmelite monk friends and well understand the importance of their life long mission.

Brother Peter had a birthday in April but somehow Father’s Day seemed more appropriate a day to honor his service to others. The man would make a great Pope as he definitely has a heart for the people. I count him a treasured friend!

Father and infant son asleep Photo by *clairity* @ flickr


Recently, I happened upon a new blog by a father of ten children. What a treat! The Mommy blogs are popular and prolific, many a delight to read. This blog is a unique perspective from the dad, one with a huge brood of children. Take a look at his amusing and clever blog post that was published in a local newspaper: Father of 10 Turns Bathtime into a Career.

While I could go on with many other wonderful examples like my cool paternal grandfather whose spiritual legacy I carry with delight, a Taoist spiritual master in Taiwan where in his culture they never trained women, especially teenage Americans - he proclaimed me his student of a lifetime, quite an honor - and the tough guy military mentors I had growing up – the kind that don’t like women but took a shine to me, adored my hutzpah and chose to train me in the unorthodox, hence, the name “Warriors’ Pearl,” I’ll save those stories for another time. Know that you are all in my heart as treasures…

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thank you for your support!

Photo of a Michigan waterfall (so refreshing!) by mandj98 @ flickr

From Denny: Just wanted to take the time to thank everyone for subscribing to the feed on this blog and all the others - and following on Blogger and other sites. You are much appreciated! Blogging is so much more fun when you have company and such good company you all are, thanks! Thank you for your support and hope you are enjoying your time here learning right along with me as I find amazing things for all these blogs!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Awwww Sniffle Sniffle Sigh Awesome Photos

From Denny: This is one of those endearing profound emails you receive every now and then. Thought I'd share with you these awesome pictures. Thanks, Colleen in New Jersey! Try making your own version of this idea of matching photos with meaningful words that strike a chord in your heart! Feel free to share this post with others to enjoy.


The Real Meaning of Words















"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

How Perceptive Are You?

Photo by muha... @ flickr

From Denny: This quote made me smile at its truth! We have all been there, sigh...

"The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer." ~ Edward R. Murrow, newsman

New Additions to Photo Blog Roll!

From Denny: "Can I tell ya?" Spent hours and hours this past weekend pouring over some awesome photo blogs, amateur and professional alike, sifting through them to place the BEST on my blog roll for you! There are about 70 choices now - around there, I lost count... :)

If you enjoy looking at photos and want to see what is going on in the photo blogosphere then this is a good place to start. My blog roll list is located at my photo blog, Visual Insights.

Talk about a wonderful way to while away a few hours with beautiful and thought-provoking photos! Take a look and enjoy! Go here.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How Did The "You" Come to Be?

Tennyson, as Poet Laureate, used verse to prom...Lord Tennyson Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Continuing along the vein of yesterday's fabulous and mystical quote, this quote can be meditated upon two levels.

You can think of it as a life-long education from all the people with whom you have interacted. You can also think of this on a spiritual level of interaction - that you have absorbed those bits and pieces you have incorporated into your being to make you strong in life!

"I am a part of all that I have met." ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

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