Synchronicity & Winning the Lottery

When the weather is good – not too hot and no rain – the dog park becomes a social gathering for people who have at least one thing in common – a love of dogs.  We sit under trees that provide ample shade and the conversations take some unusual turns. Sometimes, they veer into the terrain of synchronicity.

Yesterday, we arrived later than usual, around 6 p.m., and Rob got out into the field with an orange ball and the walking stick he brings to the park to hits balls to  Noah. There were two other dogs vying for the ball – Tootsie, a poodle/golden retriever mix – and a German shepherd that shadowed Tootsie and Noah whenever they were racing for the ball.

At one point, both dogs were right in front of Rob as he was trying to hit the ball and when he swung, the German shepherd leaped up. There was a resounding CRACK as the stick hit both the ball and the shepherd. The shepherd emitted this horrible whimpering and ran away. His owner rushed over, we all converged on the shepherd, trying to see where he was injured. A heated discussion ensued. Rob told the owner it was an accident, he wasn’t trying to hit the shepherd. The shepherd had a small cut over his eye. We all felt terrible, but the owner got a bit nasty. He said he would now have to take the dog to the vet and needed Rob’s name and information.

Everyone there – except the owner – had seen what had happened. One of the women, a retired nurse, looked at the cut and said it wasn’t serious. The owner left in a huff with his dog.

As we approached the shaded area with the benches,  a young woman I’d seen before but didn’t know,  said, “It was definitely an accident. These things happen for a reason.”

Karin, who owns an Alaskan Husky, Cody, remarked, ” I’ve been telling her that you and Rob write books on synchronicity, Trish.”

“I absolutely believe in synchronicity,” the woman said. “Today at the Hippocrates Center in West Palm Beach, I attended a workshop with a ‘happiness’ coach and synchronicities were happening all over the place. Meaningful coincidence, right?”

“Right,” I replied.

Mike, who owns Bogie, a cute Boxer, sort of rolled his eyes. “Hey, shit happens. It’s random.”

The young woman smiled and shook her head. “Nothing’s random.”

“So do you have some synchronicity stories?” I asked her.

“I sure do. Here’s a good one. A few years ago, my dad started telling us he was going to win the lottery. He talked about what we would do with the money, how we could help other people…” From the way she talked about her father and his desire to win the lottery, it was obvious than in his mind, it had already happened.

“So did he win?” asked Mike.

“Yeah, he did -$167 million!”

After income tax and New York state taxes, he walked away with $67 million.

The stunned silence in the group was breathtaking.”Wow, I love stories like this,” I said. “Has the money changed them?”

“Not really. They bought an Italian restaurant and a house and that’s about it.” They’ve donated money each year to good causes and have made sure that their kids would be provided for.

Mike remarked that her dad had just gotten lucky. After all, millions of people buy lottery tickets every week and don’t win. But he was missing the point. For the young woman’s dad, winning the lottery had already happened in his mind, within himself emotionally. His powerful desire and his belief drew that possibility to him. On a quantum level, the particle of potential called I win the lottery collapsed into a wave in physical reality and became his reality.

I later texted Karen and asked her and young woman’s name, that her lottery story was one of the best synchros I’ve heard in awhile. Karin replied that her name was Joy. “And the conversation began because of a   CRACK of the bat!”



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The Alternate Beatles

We all know there’s a lot of strange stuff on the Internet. For example, there are people saying that the aircraft from the missing Malaysian Flight 370 was the same one shot down over the Ukraine and the dead people were already dead before the plane was downed. That’s a stretch. Let’s see if the black box proves that bizarre Internet-based conspiracy. I have my doubts.

But let’s get to the Beatles. John and George are dead, right? Hey, not so fast. According to a man writing under the name James Richards, there’s an alternate reality in which the Beatles are all living and performing together.

He knows because he’s been there…and he’s got proof. Here’s his story.

Richards claims he was chasing his dog through Del Puerto Canyon in California on September 9, 2009 when he tripped in a rabbit hole and knocked himself unconscious. Upon waking up, he found himself in a room next to an unrecognizable machine with a man who introduced himself as Jonas. According to the strange man, while on a work-related trip for a dimensional travel agency, he had used the machine to transport the unconscious Richards to a parallel Earth in order to help him.

So the two compared notes about their worlds and the talk turned to pop culture, and it turned out that The Beatles existed in both worlds. Except, to Richards’s surprise, in this parallel Earth, The Beatles were all alive and had produced music that didn’t exist in our world.

To prove it, Richards brought back a souvenir cassette tape entitled Everyday Chemistry that was composed of Beatles songs never released in our dimension. Cassette? Don’t they have digital recordings yet in that alternate Earth? That question aside, guess what, Richards uploaded these unknown Beatle song to his website.

Have a listen. The old fellows still sound pretty good. I wonder where can I get a ticket to their next concert.

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The Story of Milkaukee Avenue

During our recent trip to Minneapolis, we went out one evening to meet some of Rob’s friends and took a brief detour through historic Milwaukee Avenue in the Seward neighborhood.

The homes along this wide avenue were built between 1884 and 1890 by William Ragan, a Minneapolis real estate speculator.  The homes were intended for low-income families, who were mostly Scandinavian immigrants, and were constructed on small, narrow lots that have virtually no front yards and tiny side yards. The road was originally platted as an alley and since it bisects 22nd and 23rd Avenues, it was originally called – get this – 22 1/2 Avenue! Below is a photo from the Minneapolis Historical Society.

The street kept it’s ½ designation until 1906, when petitioners asked the Minneapolis City Council to change the name to Woodland Avenue. They said the ½ made them feel like they lived in an alley. But instead of changing the name to Woodland, the council changed it to Milwaukee Avenue, perhaps because of its proximity to the Milwaukee Short Line Railroad.

The houses were built from brick veneer on timber frames. They were neglected during the Great Depression and WWII and by the end of the war, had deteriorated badly. In 1959, the city listed the houses on Milwaukee Avenue as such, a designation that meant they had no indoor plumbing or were severely battered. In 1970, the city planned to demolish the houses and raze the neighborhood.

However, many of the residents were seasoned protestors from the Vietnam War era  and they formed the Seward West Project Area Committee (PAC) in an attempt to save it. They argued that the houses had significant historic value and should be preserved. But the city contended that it would cost more to refurbish the houses than to build new ones.

So these former Vietnam protestors pulled a slick one. They secretly submitted an application to the National Registry of Historic Places for the Milwaukee Avenue district. It  was approved by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior on May 2, 1974.  It meant the city couldn’t alter or destroy the houses using federal funds without a public hearing.

Even so, nine of the Milwaukee Avenue houses had to be destroyed because they were in such terrible condition and a tenth was moved elsewhere. The rest of the houses got big makeovers – indoor plumbing, new basements, improved woodwork and porches. A pedestrian mall was built down the avenue to replace the street. No cars are allowed – just bikes and pedestrians.

As Rob and I were walking, some residents were sitting out on their front porches and others were involved in a community project – laying down mulch around the many trees on the avenue. This beautiful avenue is a striking example of what can happen when a group of people who are passionate about something can bring about change.


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Alive Inside

The RSS feed in my mail comes from Apple and consists of tidbits of information about new products. I clicked the most recent feed today and found an amazing story  and trailer for a documentary, Alive Inside of Us.    The film, which has now been released – a limited release – explores the power of music to restore memory in patients with Alzheimer’s.

Patients in an Alzheimer’s facility were fitted with earphones connected to iPods (the reason Apple carried this feed). Most of these patients are very elderly – 80s and 90s, and are in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. The iPods held music from the patients’ earlier lives and their transformation is stunning.

My mother had Alzheimer’s for about seven years, so I found this powerful clip especially moving.  What a difference this might have made for her. The film won’t be shown in Florida until September – and then, in only two cities, Winter Park and Sarasota. It’s on my MUST SEE list.

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Shamanic Meditation & the Medicine Wheel

Rob is now teaching meditation twice a week at a local yoga studio. I don’t make the morning classes – way too early for me – but I usually make the evening classes, especially when it’s a shamanic meditation.

It took Rob about fifteen minutes to set up this evening before class because he had to make a medicine wheel. And since we have such a bumper crop of mangos, the wheel was made of – yes, mangos!

The class was divided into three parts.  In the first part, he played a Sandra Ingerman CD. Right from the start of the CD, there’s music – rattles and drums. The monotony of the rhythm is strangely compelling for me. I immediately find myself drifting into an alpha state, then into theta. Ingerman provides brief explanations for what each direction means and the animal associated with it.  The one irritating thing with the CD is that she started whistling – calling the spirits of each direction. That first whistle snapped me out of my relaxed state so quickly that I thought an alarm had gone off outside.

In the second part of the class, Rob takes us through a guided meditation for each of the four directions. We move around on the mat so we are facing the direction we’re working on. Bringing your body into alignment with the direction you’re addressing is particularly  effective. It’s as if the energy contained within that direction  becomes more focused.

The third part of the meditation was short and actually part of a larger meditation that we didn’t do because of lack of time.  We lay with our heads to the south and Rob asked us to create our own definition of what the south means, a rather advanced shamanic technique. I was so relaxed at this point that I got lost.

I would love a class where we do this with each of the four directions.  He addresses this in his meditation book, The Jewel in the Lotus: Meditation for Busy Minds, and a lot of the material for tonight’s class came from the book. It will be published this fall.

If you’d like to do the medicine wheel meditation on your own, put on a CD with rattles and drum music on it, then you can follow these guidelines, excerpted from Rob’s book. He uses the tradition of the Q’ero Indians from Peru, an indigenous tribe descended from the Incas:

The South

In the Q’ero tradition, the journey begins in the South, which is considered the home of the Serpent. That’s where you heal old wounds and traumas by learning to shed the past, like the Serpent sheds its skin. Understand that you can let go of emotional wounds and old personal stories.

If you have recurring memories of incidents in which you were hurt or offended and still feel anger rage, that’s where you begin. You might immediately recognize the anger and toxic energy that you are carrying related to certain matters from the past.

Take at least fifteen minutes to allow one or more such memories to surface. If nothing occurs to you, don’t force it. Don’t look for troubling matters from the past. Let them surface on their own.

If your mind strays, imagine a snake meandering slowly past you.  Or visualize it curled several times forming a spiral, turning inward, a symbol of wholeness, of the inward journey. You have no fear of the serpent, because it will do you no harm.  You’ll know that you’ve completed your journey to the South when, in your daily life, you are reminded of an unpleasant incident and you don’t react in the usual manner.

The West

The journey moves to the West, where you encounter the Jaguar, who teaches you about life, death, and rebirth. Visualize the Jaguar. See its glowing eyes. Notice its power and agility.

The West is about moving ahead and embracing what’s new, what’s coming into your life. It’s about moving beyond fear, anger, guilt, and shame. You learn to face fears and overcome them. You let go of relationships that no longer serve you. You cross a bridge from your old ways to your new life. Old, outmoded relationships fall away. You can now speak your truth without fear.

You move ahead with power, as a peaceful warrior. You no longer need to engage in battles within or outside of you. Instead, you are able to support yourself as you ask and receive what you desire so that you can leap into the person that you are becoming and journey into your creativity and your journey of love.

The North

In the North, you meet the Hummingbird and engage ancient wisdom and knowledge. We learn to manifest the impossible, and to receive help from ancestors. In doing so, we reconnect with nature.

You step outside of linear time. You can influence past events as well present and future ones as you become a co-creator of reality. You step inside the person you are becoming. You act with power and love. You release all the roles that you’ve identified with so that you have nothing left to defend. With your new knowledge you move through the world with freedom, flowing with ease, close to nature.

The East

Finally, in the East you encounter the archetype of the Eagle as you summon your destiny, and more. It’s about the big picture. In essence, you dream the world into being. It’s the way of the visionary who sees all the possibilities. It’s about developing your vision of peace.

The Eagle guides you fully into the role and responsibility of co-creator. You take all that you have learned and bring it back into your everyday world. See the Eagle gliding overhead, soaring. Imagine that you are soaring with it.


At the end of the class, everyone selected mangos to take home with them.

Happy meditating!

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Legends in the Forest Primeval

legends and forest primeval

One day during our recent trip to Minnesota, Rob, his friend Rabbit, and I drove across a bridge that spanned the Mississippi, and entered Wisconsin.  The plan was that we would follow the Mississippi to a town large enough for a restaurant where we could have lunch.

The western part of the Wisconsin is rural, with mile after mile of forests and tall bluffs on one side, and the river on the other side. There wasn’t much traffic and we pretty much moved along at our own pace and drank in the dramatic views.  I don’t recall any synchros, just a beautiful flow of events.

Some of the towns we went through would hardly qualify as towns. They were more like settlements – a few old wooden houses, an antique store and maybe a gas station or small market. I invariably wonder about the lives of the people who live in such small places. What did the kids do during the summers? How far away were their schools?

Rabbit had mentioned a spot that he thought we would enjoy – Maiden Rock, a bluff that is historic primarily because of the legend associated with it. The place is also part of a park and he figured that if the park was open, we could hike out to Maiden Rock.

There seem to be various versions of the Legend of Maiden Rock. Rabbit told us one version, which is also here, but with some significant differences. In the version Rabbit told us, a young Dakota woman, Winona, was in love with a Sioux but her father, Chief Red Wing,  intended to marry her to a brave in the Dakota tribe. Rather than marrying a man she didn’t love, she leaped to her death from the bluff. Another version of the legend, though, doesn’t even mention the Dakotas.

Regardless of which version is true, the different versions agree on the  basics: a young woman’s father was going to marry her off to a man she didn’t love, so she jumped off the bluff- and is now forever remembered in some variation of the legend.

“Can we do Maiden Rock after we eat?” I asked. I was hungry when we’d crossed the bridge and was growing hungrier with every mile that unfolded.

“Sure,” Rabbit replied. “Stockholm is the place to eat. Otherwise, we’ll be doing greasy spoons or eating bar food.”

We pulled off the road to the Maiden Rock overview of the Mississippi. That photo above is from the overview.  The bluff was supposedly on the other side of the road, a formidable outcropping of stone and rock that was probably two hundred feet upward.

From there, we drove on into Stockholm, Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population of this charming town (settlement) was  a resounding 66! The town was settled in 1854 by Swedish immigrants and that ancestry is evident in the faces and countenances of the people with whom we interacted in the shops.

We had a fantastic brunch at a local café, met a friendly dog, and got directions to the Maiden Rock Park from a local. Go up the road to the end of the cornfield, then hang a left and go all the way to the dead end. Nothing too complicated. We arrived at the entrance of the park, the only car within miles, got out, and started walking.

This is Tully, settling in with a bone, in her little home between two shops. She was so friendly I thought she might follow us back to Florida.

Entrance to Maiden Rock Park

The hilly landscape was stunning, breathtakingly green, and we were the only humans in there. I could feel the presence of the past in these woods. As we followed a narrow path that twisted up and down hills, I could easily envision the suicidal young woman tearing along the path to the bluff.

After a mile or two, my ankle started bothering me. I wasn’t wearing the proper shoes for this kind of hiking, and told Rob and Rabbit to go on ahead.

I stood there, snapping photos that I emailed to myself or texted to our daughter, but nothing went through. I didn’t have a cell signal. No means of communication is a Gemini’s worst nightmare.  And while I stood there in what felt like a primeval forest, the wind blew through the trees, strumming the branches, breathing through the leaves. The sound it made was eerie, like something from another world.

Immediately, my imagination slammed into action and spun a number of what if scenarios:

What if something happened to either Rabbit or Rob? I wouldn’t be able to call 911; I would have to get out of the park and walk three or four miles to Stockholm for help.

What if  a wolf suddenly appeared on the path?

What if a UFO landed and an alien walked out?

What if the suicidal woman from so long ago suddenly materialized, racing past me toward her doom?

I wouldn’t be able to call, email, or text anyone. I freaked myself out and spun around and started back toward where we’d left the car.

There is something about legends and the forest primeval that speaks to you on a visceral level. In these places, you can sense the past gathering around you like shadows. You know that with just a small shift in your perceptions, you may be able to draw that past around you tightly, like a cocoon. And then you simply walk out into it.

Is that, perhaps, how time travel might be accomplished?

I didn’t stick around to find out. Next time, though, I will!

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What If…in Television


I remember the days when American TV programming was pretty bad. Thirty minute sitcoms with canned laughter. Thirty-minute cop shows with big plot flaws. Shows like Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie, Flipper, The Naked City, Highway Patrol, The Donna Reed Show, Marcus Welby, M.D., Leave It to Beaver, The Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond, I Love Lucy.

Some of these shows were good – Lucy was genuinely, hysterically funny at times. And Lucille Ball was always such a treat to watch. Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond were my personal favorites. I watched these shows and all the others in Spanish. I don’t recall the Spanish translation for Twilight Zone, but One Step Beyond was called Un Paso al Mas Alla. We were living in Venezuela at the time and compared to Venezuelan TV, these American dubbed shows were a delight and a conduit to the place we traveled to every summer, our other home, the U.S.

On Sundays nights, I remember, TV was a family thing. We used to have grilled cheese sandwiches and some other side dish and gather where the TV was and watch Twilight Zone or One Step Beyond. Or was it Tales of the South Pacific that we watched? This is where memory becomes tricky terrain. I think it might have been Tales,  based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning book by James Michener. But it could have been Twilight Zone. My interests certainly would be more with Zone that with Pacific, although I recall that’s Gardner McKay starred in this series and it stirred my hunger for foreign travel.

But other than Zone or Beyond, there just weren’t that many shows that sparked your imagination, that introduced new ideas, new what if scenarios. Then in the Sixties, when I was in college, Star Trek became the equivalent of Zone and Beyond. We zipped around the universe on the Enterprise with Kirk and Spock and got to play with the ideas that were introduced.

From 1993-2002, we had The X-Files, where Mulder and Scully were FBI agents who investigated sightings, possible abductions, all the high strangeness of the encounter and UFO phenomena. Since then, we’ve had The 4400, about that number of people who vanished and then returned. We’ve had V, Under the Dome, 137, The Medium, Lost… shows that have pushed the envelope in terms of ideas, shows that prompt us to ask What if?

Last week, we watched the first episode of an HBO series called The Leftovers. It’s about what happens to the people left behind when two percent of the world’s population – now more than 7 billion – vanishes.

Very soon now, CBS will air its first episode of Extant, a Spielberg production for CBS – starring Halle Berry. It’s about a female astronaut who lived for 13 months solo on the space station but – uh-oh -  returns home pregnant.

The second season of Under the Dome, based on Stephen King’s book by the same name, focuses more closely on  how people in a small American town are impacted when a transparent dome slams down over their community, cutting them off from the rest of the world. It’s Lord of the Flies on steroids.

The point is that television as entertainment has morphed into TV as a cultural vehicle that prompts us to ask ourselves important questions. What do we really know about the nature of reality? Who are we in the greater scheme of things? Is our reality malleable, subject to change according to our beliefs about what is possible?

Hey, are we living in The Matrix?


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Dean Radin’s Big Synchro

I’ve read several of Dean Radin’s books on parapsychology, and especially enjoyed his most recent offering: SUPERNORMAL: Science, Yoga, ad the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities as I mentioned in an earlier post. This last one is more accessible and entertaining (except for hard-core skeptics) with far less detailed explanations of experiments. In other words, more on meditation and less on meta-analysis of data.

However, I was a bit disappointed that Radin failed to mention synchronicity once in Supernormal, and I wondered if he didn’t find any deeper meaning in coincidences. It was particularly surprising because he even writes about UFOs—a topic usually seen as outside of psychic research—and discusses their possible link to the paranormal…or rather the supernormal.

So I was intrigued when Lauren Raine sent this You Tube video of Radin talking about synchronicity. She forwarded it from her friend, Fahrusha’s blog. In it, Radin carries on at length about a synchronicity he experienced, and he did so for good reason. It’s quite a mind-blowing tale. Take a look and see for yourself.


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Quantum Glasses?


Sometimes when I travel, there aren’t any stunning synchros, nothing that hits me in the forehead and screams, Pay attention. Instead, there’s a wonderful flow of energy that builds day to day, then hour to hour.  That energy demands that I put into practice what I’ve read, what I know. It says, Okay, make it practical! That’s how our recent trip to Minnesota was.

Rob was born and grew up in Minneapolis. His mother still lives in the house where he grew up, his sister lives a few miles away, and friends from different periods in his life still live in the city or nearby. In other words, bits of his personal history are scattered across this diverse, vibrant landscape.

In this general neighborhood where he grew up, there are a lot of parks and wilderness preserves. Just a few blocks from Rob’s mother’s house is Golden Valley Park, a forested area where Rob used to hike when he was a kid. During our walk through the forest, we came upon bushes of wild raspberries, not quite ripe enough yet to pluck, and saw a variety of wildlife. Hawks, chipmunks, woodpeckers. Usually, Rob said, there are deer, but not this time. Instead, there were an abundance of wildflowers you just don’t find in Florida.

And there’s a fantastic railroad track you could actually walk along.

On our way back up a steep hill from a pond, Rob was ahead of me and was pushing branches out of the way so I could get through. One of those branches snapped back in my face. “Hey, that hit me in the eyes!” I yelped.


And I suddenly realized the world had gone blurry, that when the branch had snapped back, it had knocked off my glasses. I’m nearsighted. Without my glasses, the world thirty to forty feet in front of me is a haze of shapes. I hadn’t packed a spare pair of glasses.  My mind instantly slammed into panic mode and coughed up all the worst possible scenarios- that I would spend the rest of the trip in a blurred haze.

As we got down on our hands and knees and patted our way through the underbrush, looking for my glasses, I balked at the fact that I had overlooked packing an extra pair. I’m the kind of traveler who makes packing lists weeks ahead of a trip. I refine and expand my list. I pack and unpack my bag, eliminating this, adding that. By the time I finally leave, I usually have everything I might need in that bag. But I hadn’t planned for this contingency.

We thought the branch might have knocked my glasses off into the underbrush,  so we moved into that denser foliage, patting the ground, overturning branches, rocks.  It was late afternoon and I worried that if we didn’t find my glasses before the sun went down, we would be back here the next morning, wasting precious vacation time. At one point, Rob stood up, removed his glasses, pulled the branch back and let it hit his glasses to see where they would fall. The trail.  “Your glasses have to be here on the trail somewhere,” he said.

More searching. Fifteen or twenty minutes passed. Shadows grew longer. My irritation and panic mounted. I finally rocked back on my heels. “If Dispenza’s right,” I said, referring to Joe Dispenza’s books,  “then my glasses are like Schrodinger’s cat. They are both lost and not lost. We have to collapse the wave of probability and bring it into physical reality and find the glasses.”

It sounds great in the abstract, like some sort of head trip, an activity you do during meditation. But I was seriously doubting a discovery. The foliage on this path was dense. The light was waning. The mosquitoes were out and about. I was hungry, impatient, fed up, pissed off. Rob did his little experiment again, with his own glasses, and they fell right smack on the path. “They’ve got to be here,” he said insistently.

So down on our hands and knees we went. I was determined. Resolute. And within thirty seconds, I found my glasses, camouflaged, lenses down in the dirt. “I found them!” I squealed, and plucked them up.

The arms were slightly askew, one lens bore a deep scratch, they fit loosely. But hey, we had stepped on them several times, grinding them farther into the dirt and brush, but they were basically intact.

And yes, we might have found the glasses even if we’d never heard of Joe Dispenza’s books. Even if we’d never heard of quantum physics. We might have found them even if we’d known nothing about waves and particles,  intentions and desires. But my desire to find the glasses was so powerful, so overwhelming, that it consumed me. And Rob’s desire was just as strong because otherwise he would spend the entire week listening to me say, I can’t see anything.

So I slipped on my glasses and even though they were loose and the scratch was noticeable, I could SEE. Colors. Shapes. Textures.

At the time, I was so grateful to have found my glasses that I didn’t think much about how the odds were stacked against me. How I could just as easily have been down at that spot in Golden Valley Park the next morning patting through the same underbrush. In retrospect, I am grateful and awed.

Even though this isn’t a synchro in the traditional sense,  I think it may be in a broader sense, where reality shifts through some weird quantum thing. And yes, it set the tone for the rest of the trip. Stay tuned…


About Malaysia Flight 17, off topic here – but maybe not. I found one rather strange synchro. On July 17, 1996 -  18 years to the day that Flight 17 was shot down – TWA Flight 800 crashed shortly after takeoff from JFK, near East Moriches, New York. Speculation abounded that it was shot down. Despite an abundance of testimony from pilots and aviation experts, the National Transportation Safety Board refuses to reopen an investigation into what actually happened.

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Cosmic Brand



Russell Brand goes cosmic. Click here.

Wow! How does he talk so fast? No notes…just a rapid stream of consciousness about higher consciousness, the higher mind, yoga, meditation…love, compassion, tolerance. 

Even though what he says is nothing new to anyone treading a spiritual path, Brand expresses himself in a way that’s aimed at grabbing us and shaking us and telling us to open our eyes to the expansive nature of reality. He’s saying, ‘Wake up, people, there’s more to life our mundane everyday world and our captivation by celebrities and other trivial pursuits.’

You could watch a video of the Dalai Lama and get a similar message, but Brand is captivating, especially because he’s not talking to the choir, and his cosmic message is so down to earth.  



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The Untethered Soul


Ever since I bought an iPad two years ago, I tend to download books I’d like to read. But sometimes, bookstore browsing, in an actual physical bookstore, yields wonderful treasures.   The Untethered Soul: the journey beyond yourself by Michael A. Singer is one of the treasures.

I found it in the self-help/New Age section. I’d never heard of it, but because I liked the title and the cover, I plucked it off the shelf and opened it at random. The page was the opening for chapter 8, entitled let go now or fall. And then I read this passage:

“The exploration of Self is inextricably interwoven with the unfolding of one’s life. The natural ups and downs of life can either generate personal growth or create personal fears. Which of these dominates is completely dependent upon how we view change. Change can be viewed as either exciting or frightening, but regardless of how we view it, we must all face the fact that change is the very nature of life. If you have a lot of fear, you won’t like change. You’ll try to create a world around you that is predictable, controllable, and definable. You’ll try to create a world that doesn’t stimulate your fears. Fear doesn’t want to feel itself; it’s actually afraid of itself. So you utilize the mind is an attempt to manipulate life for the purpose of not feeling fear.”

Into my pile of purchases it went. I came home and read most of the book. Singer’s premise is compelling and he sets it out in the first chapter: the voice inside your head. We all hear this little voice. It talks to us when we’re in traffic and some driver pulls out in front of us. What’s that jerk doing? Where’d he learn to drive? It talks to us when we’re trying to fall asleep. Did I lower the garage door? Is the cat inside? Did I lock the front door?  It talks to us when we meet someone new. Am I dressed okay? Does my hair look weird?


“If you spend some time observing this mental voice,” Singer writes, “the first thing you’ll notice is that it never shuts up. When left to its own, it just talks.”  Why?  Singer contends that sometimes the voice talk for the same reason that a teakettle whistles: a buildup of energy that needs to be released.  The voice becomes very active when you’re angry at someone, feeling nervous, anxious, fearful, unhappy etc.  “The voice talks because you’re not okay inside, and talking release energy.” In essence, the voice is narrating the world for you and “the narration makes you feel more comfortable with the world around you.”

Singer talks a lot about energy centers – chakras, in particular the heart chakra. Whenever we feel slighted or argue with someone or feel down in the dumps about something, that chakra closes up. And when that chakra shuts down, energy becomes blocked, “When you close your heart or close your mind, you hide in the darkness within you. There is no light. There is no energy. There is nothing flowing.” In ancient Chinese medicine, this energy is called Chi. In Yoga, it’s called Shakti. In the modern world, we call it Spirit.

But regardless of what we call it, this energy “is what you’re experiencing when loves rushes up into your heart. This is what you’re experiencing when you’re enthused by something and all this high energy comes up inside you.”

To keep this energy flowing, keep your heart open, Singer writes. You do this, partly through your perceptions. Let’s go back to the traffic example. You’re in your car and someone pulls in front of you, cutting you off. That driver’s act creates a disturbance within you that creates resistance to the experience, and energy becomes blocked. Instead of resisting the experience, let it pass through you. He cut you off, so what?

Perception is “meant to take things in, allow you to experience them, and then let them pass through so that you’re fully present in the next moment. What it means to live life is to experience the moment that is passing through you, and then experience the next moment and then the next.”

Every chapter of this book is filled with gems. In a chapter called The Path of Unconditional Happiness, Singer sums is up beautifully: “You don’t want your happiness to be conditional upon the behavior of other people. It‘s bad enough that your happiness is conditional upon your own behavior. When you start making it conditional upon other people’s behavior, you’re in serious trouble.”

Resistance, he writes, is a waste of energy. Allow each moment of every day to pass through you.



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Mango Season!

Warning: no synchro here, just a celebration of mangos!

Mango season is here again in South Florida and this summer, our oldest tree, the one right outside my office window, has produced so many mangos that the branches are sagging. You get a sense of it in the photo above, where you actually have to stoop way over to make your way along the walk. I suspect the summer crop will be at least a hundred, maybe twice that.

For the past couple of summers, the trees have produced more fruit than in earlier years. Our summers here are definitely heating up and these trees love the heat and flourish. For most of June, our daily temps were in the mid to high 90s, with a couple of days peaking at 100 degrees. I can practically hear the mangos singing in this kind of heat.

The squirrels have a field day in our yard. As they knock green mangos from the trees, Rob gathers them up every day and puts them on a porch table, so they can ripen more quickly. He also slices up some of them and freezes them for smoothies. We should be able to enjoy mango smoothies well into the winter months.

Another unusual quality of this summer’s crop is the size. I selected our three largest mangos and weighed them on a bathroom scale – two and a half pounds!  The Hatcher mangos, named after the man who started a local mango orchard,  tend to be the largest.

Here’s a mango salad Rob made. That golden color is emblematic of the best mangos, so delectable they practically melt in your mouth.

A single mango the size of one of those in the photo can easily constitute a full meal. These fruits are loaded with nutrients. They contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals – everything from vitamins A, B6, C, D, E, K to 564 mg of potassium, thiamine, folate, iron, magnesium, plenty of fiber, no cholesterol, just 3 mg of sodium.

These suckers taste so good that you forget they’re actually good for you! Mangos help with digestion, lower cholesterol, normalize insulin in the blood, alkalize the body,  clear the skin, and aid in the prevention of certain types of cancer, are a remedy for heat stroke, act as an aphrodisiac, and boost the immune system.

Now we’re on a hunt for mango recipes. Here’s as recipe we’re trying next. It’s called  Summer Rainbow Salad:


3 vine ripe tomatoes

2 mangos, peeled, seeded, and cubed

2 avocados

1 cup of fresh blueberries

1 chopped red onion

½ bunch cilantro, chopped

¼ cup fresh lime juice

½ cup pineapple juice

Hope you all can stop by for a taste!

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Barry Eaton’s The Afterlife

I ran across this video on Darren’s blog, Just Watching the Wheels Go Round. It’s an intriguing introduction to his book. He recalls his death in WWI, the injuries he received, and understands why he has certain physical ailments in this life.

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Tuning in?

 Our dog park is across the street from the Aero Club, a suburban community where many houses have hangars and the private airstrip is now paved. The flight path to that runway brings many types of planes directly over the dog park.

On February 17, when Rob and I were at the park, an experimental plane – like the one depicted above -  came in very low over the park and dog owners peered upward or ducked. Yeah, ducked. It was that close. Rob said to some people nearby, “Did you hear about the plane that crashed here?”

What?” I asked. “When?”

“Oh, you know, that plane that crashed four or five years ago. But it’s going to happen again.”

Two people had died in that crash, a man and a woman who had left behind two small children. But I was struck that Rob initially referred to it in a way that led me to believe there had been a recent crash.                

The next  morning, the 18th, I dreamed that the Palm Beech International Airport had changed its flight paths so that planes now came directly over our house. In the dream, I saw a twin engine plane plane  lying perilously low and headed straight for our house. I could hear its noisy engines and thought, My God it may hit us.

It didn’t, though, and I woke up and walked out into the kitchen, eager for coffee and food. Rob eventually joined me and I told him about my dream. Then forgot it.

At nearly one this afternoon, Rob and I were waiting for a call from Whitley Streiber. We were going to be doing an interview with him about The Synchronicity Highway.  Our windows were open, the air here has been cool, and I heard this shrieking chorus of police alarms and commented on it to Rob.

Then we did our interview and I forgot about it until I received a text message from a Karin, a woman I know from the dog park. She asked if I’d heard about the plane that had crashed across the street from the dog park. The pilot, she said, was killed. It was the experimental plane that had flown in so low the other day. The pilot flew for American Airlines and was a friend of our neighbor, who is also a pilot for American.


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A long ‘Trek’

Leonard Nimoy is 83. ‘Live long & prosper.’

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What Happened in the Monastery


One of the most intriguing stories in Joe Dispenza’s book, You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter, concerns an experiment that was conducted in 1981. Eight men in their 70s and 80s were taken to a monastery in Peterborough, New Hampshire, for a five day retreat, where they were asked to pretend that they were young again – 22 years younger than they actually were at the time.

A second group of eight elderly men, the control group, were taken to the monastery the following week and were asked just to actively reminisce about being 22 years younger, but not to pretend that they weren’t their current age.

When the first group arrived at the monastery, they found an environment that suggested an earlier age. “They flipped through old issues of Life and the Saturday Evening Post, watched movies and television shows popular in 1959, and they listened to recordings of Perry Como and Nat King Cole on the radio,” Dispenza writes.  The men also discussed events that were current in 1959 – Castro’s rise to power in Cuba, Khruschev’s visit to the U.S. – and they talked about sports figures like Mickey Mantle.

The research team was led by Ellen Langer, a Harvard psychologist.  After each of the retreats, her team took measurements and compared them to the measurements they’d taken before the beginning of the retreat. Their discovery is fascinating. “The bodies of the men in both groups were physiologically younger, structurally as well as functionally, although those in the first study group (who pretended they were younger) improved significantly more than the control group, who’d merely reminisced.”

There were improvements in the men’s height, weight, gait. They got taller as their posture straightened, their joints became more flexible, and as their arthritis diminished their fingers lengthened. Their eyesight and hearing improved and their memory sharpened. “The men literally became younger in those five days, right in front of the researcher’s eyes.”

Langer reported that at the end of the five days, she was playing football – touch football – with the men, some of whom had given up their canes. Dispenza’s explanation for this is that the men were able to “turn on the circuits in their brains that reminded them of who they had been 22 years ago, and then their body chemistry somehow magically responded. The change wasn’t just in their minds; it was in their bodies.”

Interestingly, Langer’s experiment with the men in the monastery may soon hit the big screen. Jennifer Aniston is slated to co-produce the movie and play Langer, who was 34 years old at the time of the experiment. The title of the movie is certainly appropriate: Counterclockwise.

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