Saturday, June 24, 2017


     One day, two construction workers met on a new job site and sat down to eat lunch together. The first guy opened his lunch box, sighed and said, "Oh no, not a bologna sandwich.  I hate bologna!" - and then proceeded to eat his lunch with a frown. The next day, the same thing happened, as well as the third day.  Finally, when it occurred again on the fourth day, the co-worker's curiosity made him ask his new friend, "If you hate bologna so much, why don't you tell your wife to make you something different?"  To which the first guy replied, "What wife? I'm not married. I make my own lunch!"
     Sound familiar?  While we all know it's not really helpful for us to complain or wish that things could be other than what they are, the question is:  What are we willing to do differently in order for things to be different?  Sometimes that might mean performing some task or physical action that we've been avoiding.  At other times it might involve changing our attitude towards something or someone that's been bothering us, particularly if it involves something/someone over which we have little control (which is usually the case).
     But in every case, it's important to remember that (a) we always have choices, (b) it's necessary to make a conscious choice and then (c) take appropriate action(s).  And that not making a choice to do anything different is a choice too, albeit one that generally leaves us feeling like powerless victims of circumstances.
      Why chew on the same old bologna, when there's a magnificent buffet awaiting us every moment of every day?  Bon appetit!
With joy,

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


     It's b-a-c-k!  The sweaty weight of humid heat hangs heavy over the streets of Sauna Antonio once again, making even the smallest of movements seem like too much trouble. Of course, most of my work takes place indoors, in air-conditioned comfort, but at the moment, I'm busy schlepping several loads of music equipment from the house to the car, working up a sweat. Soon enough I'll be back indoors, I tell myself. "But that's not the point," a grasshopper whispers as he sails by my ear, on his way to a shady spot nearby.  "It's summertime and you're supposed to be following Mother Nature's cue, slowing down a bit in the heat of the day...Why not stay outside, settle down and relax awhile?"
     Feeling the gentle downward-tug of gravity, I slump into the shade of an oak tree in order to recharge my batteries for a minute or two. Its been a super-full week, and there's an even fuller weekend ahead: three nursing home shows today, the Summer Solstice tomorrow, the Morning Circle and family Father's Day celebrations on Sunday. There's a bunch of stuff to do, so I can't sit here long. But I've learned from experience that just a couple of minutes of quiet time, preferably unleashed from my electronic gadgets, can make all the difference in the pace of the day, and the amount of focus I'm able bring to my task(s) afterwards.
     So here I sit in the shade of a tree, feeling the heat and doing my best to pay attention to what my surroundings are telling me:  "slow down, relax, listen for the quiet clues whispering from inside and all around you."
     Having heard that invitation, it seems appropriate to extend the same reminder to you. Won't you take a few minutes now, or sometime soon, to simply be outside and feel the rising heat and the changing of the seasons? Maybe just a few minutes sitting in the shade outside your home or workplace right now? Or a slow stroll along the river tomorrow. Perhaps you'll be able to set aside a couple of hours to drive out to the Cave Without a Name near Boerne, and join us for our Summer Solstice concert down in the cool, damp cave tomorrow night. That will certainly be a particularly fine chance to slow down, cool down and feel your connection to the Earth and the fullness of summer.
     In any case, wherever, whenever it works for you to do so, I invite you to consider taking an opportunity(s) to be outside, feel the heat and sink into the sweet, slow simmering sensation of summertime tugging at your sleeves, inviting your body to surrender, sometime sooner than later. All of Creation is waiting for you...
     That's my invitation, and I'm sticking to it.
With joy,
THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Friday, June 9, 2017


     I am very happy about each of the many different inspirational events the Celebration Circle has produced over the years, but I'm particularly proud of Underground Sounds, our seasonal concert series in the Cave Without a Name. That's just one of several reasons that I'm really looking forward to performing there again next Saturday, June 17th, to celebrate the Summer Solstice with an amazing group of musicians.
     There's something so powerful, so timeless, so deeply moving about gathering with scores of other people in this gorgeous limestone cavern, located 180 feet inside the earth, as we celebrate the changing of the seasons with a mix of ancient and modern instruments pulsing in rhythm and resonating off those magnificent limestone formations. What a sound!
     And then, about halfway through the concert, with all the lights turned off, we are immediately plunged into a total, pitch-black darkness. Suddenly cut off from all visual input, an age-old instinct kicks in, making our ears acutely attuned to the environment to an extent that most of us have seldom experienced. And into that space of heightened awareness, we introduce the primordial sounds of the didgeridoo, drums, vocal harmonies and other instrumentation, all providing a degree of aesthetic and spiritual stimulation that can't really be described in words. So I'm not even going to try. 
     Instead, I invite you to join us for this amazing experience and find out for yourself why it's such an indescribable delight that's thrilled and uplifted thousands of people over the past 16 years. If you've attended one before, rest assured that this concert will be even better than the last one, because we have some amazing new musical surprises that I won't spoil with a verbal description because it wouldn't do justice to what you'll hear this time. And you can scroll down for details on the logistics and ticket information.
     In any case, whether or not you are able to join us in person for this Summer Solstice event, I hope that your summer, too, will get off to a relaxing, refreshing and spiritually uplifting start, wherever you are, whatever you do!
 With joy,

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


     Earlier this afternoon, I sang at a memorial service for Ron Young, a long-time friend, songwriter and music journalist who made a big impact on my career - and on the Texas music scene in general -- over the years.  It was a poignant and powerful time; the chapel was full of old friends and fellow musicians, so many songs and sweet memories were shared. Of course, it was sad to say goodbye to Ron, but I left with a light heart, feeling glad that his long, painful battle with cancer was finally over - and that so many people had come to honor him and his legacy.
     After leaving there, I drive downtown to the Blue Star Arts Complex, where our son, Mateo, is having his high-school graduation party in conjunction with a dozen other seniors. Most of them have been close friends since early childhood, so I've witnessed their various trials and triumphs at countless birthday parties, performances, soccer games, sleepovers and other celebrations over the years. It's really heartwarming to see them swarming around the room being playful again, brimming with hope, hormones and happiness. Throughout the night, we parents hug each other, all of us astonished by how quickly the years have flown, how delightfully grownup "our little babies" have become.
     It's great to see Mateo and his pals being so playful and carefree. Some are dancing and jamming to the sounds the DJ is spinning; others are playing chess, talking, having fun just being young. And yet at one point I find myself sitting alone in a dark corner, sighing in sadness, wanting to clutch this moment and hold on tight, knowing that this is almost certainly the last time these young people will be together in this way. Mateo's moving to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico in August; I can't remember where all the others are going at the moment, but in the coming weeks, they're all headed off to different universities and opportunities scattered around the country. That's wonderful and totally natural, and I'm really happy for them, of course. And yet, I'm feeling this undeniable undercurrent of sadness, too, longing to hang on to their friendship and their youth (and mine) for just a little while longer.
     I slip out and leave while the party is still in high gear, the DJ's music ringing in my ears as I meander across the parking lot, trying to digest the confusing mixture of feelings engendered by these two very different celebrations of transition. I'd left the funeral chapel feeling happy; now I'm leaving this joyful graduation party feeling wistful. Weird. Opening the car door, I have to chuckle at myself, for taking my emotions so seriously, once again. Slipping behind the steering wheel, I suddenly hear the voice of my beloved friend and mentor, Arnold Patent, resonating across the years to remind me that "an emotion is simply a feeling with a judgment attached to it." And that one path to emotional freedom involves "breathing peacefully into any 'troubling' emotion until you can experience the feelings involved, separate from any judgments you may have about them." 
     So that's what I'm doing right now, right here in the parking lot: breathing quietly, feeling my feelings without judgment, witnessing the free flow of love that's underneath it all. Ahhh...Sinking into the Precious Present moment, I feel very blessed to be experiencing the sheer joy of having received yet another dancing lesson from Spirit. 
With gratitude and blessings,

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.