The Compartmentalized Mind: A Poem


For far too long
I compartmentalized the spiritual nature of my life,
squashing it into each specific Sunday pew-sitting corner,
rather than allowing it to course the waters of my whole life,
as it naturally does.

My spirit was confined to a bushel,
and because of that,
I became dry, tame, disjointed,
and did not feel whole.

It was so easy just going to church weekly,
following the rules, regulations, rites, rituals, doctrine, and dogma,
until finally realizing that all of my life can be spiritual practice.

When I began to see that the altar is all around me,
in the miracle of other people,
in the feel of grass beneath my feet,
in the blue of Torch Lake,
in the birth of baby robins nested in my eaves,
in cacti reaching for the sky each in its own way,
in all of creation,
all of life became meaningful,
and each moment carried within it
the invitation home.

Allowing myself to listen
to that magical call of life
and trust it again,
no matter how unreasonable or insane it sounded,
proved to be the beginning of my return
to the true nature we all share:
that of a wise, intuitive, joyful, free BEING;
human child of God,
home to the true master that lives within;
destined to create many good things.

Indeed, since walking away from the falsely secure life
as a loyal pewsitter
and into the free fall of following my energy
wherever it takes me,
of allowing life to be a meditation,
I appreciate each step of the journey
as just as sacred as the next.

I remember that every tear and challenge
is just as meaningful, benevolent, and welcome
as every gust of bliss
and surge of joy.

I remember that my presence and my accountability
are the weavers of my best destiny.

I remember that when I keep my attention inward
with stillness,
and my life to be a reflection of what I hold inside,
working with what I see in that mirror of my freedom,
I am empowered,
more open,
moving away from fear
and into love,
able to do my best.

And finally,
I am reminded again and again
that my willingness to show up for it all
without judgment,
my willingness to keep my eyes and hearts open
and my awareness sharp
is the current that keeps me harmonized and going
wherever I am best off going,
continuously delivering me
to the sweetest, most fulfilling vision
of my life.

John Churchman, Poet and More

A Sioux Story about developing Soft Eyes


A Sioux Story
Shared from: www://

The Creator gathered all of Creation and said : “I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality.”
The eagle said, “Give it to me, I will take it to the moon.”
The Creator said, “No. One day they will go there and find it.”
The salmon said, “I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean.”
“No. They will go there too.”
The buffalo said, “I will bury it on the Great Plains.”
The Creator said, “They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there.”

Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, “Put it inside of them.”

And the Creator said, “It is done.”

Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies: Book Review


Marilyn Chandler McEntyre has written a must read book for any one who cares about our children, or any Book Club who needs invigorating!

This book originated as the 2004 Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary.  It is a small book that is full of wisdom, compassion, humor and punch-lines. It is a book of non-agenda-non bias– judgment that has the capacity to change our course as American’s who tend to use the English language to sell, or disintegrate our communities.  WE ALL DO IT! It is a book that goes backward to help us remember but then moves us forward to a new way of being together in conversation.  Here is a snippet:

“I don’t know how many times over the past year I’ve hear students, trying to make sense of the news, lament, “I don’t know how to tell what to believe!” “How do I tell what is reliable?– How do I tell what is true?”  Their questions remind me of Wendell Berry’s observation that the two epidemic illnesses of our time….. “the disintegration of communities and….. the “language.  “My impression,”Berry writes….. “is that we have seen, for perhaps a hundred and fifty years, a gradual increase in language that is either meaningless or destructive of meaning.” 

(Wendell Berry,  “Standing by Words, Washington D.C.: Shoemaker and Hoard, 2005 pg.14):

The author continues:  “We need to mean what we say. And for that purpose, we need to reclaim words that have been colonized and held hostage by commercial and political agencies that have riddled them with distorted meanings.”

Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Company

Grand Rapids/Cambridge






Are you finding yourself deeply concerned that our children needing more empathy skills to navigate the world they and we are living in? Green Circle is a program/process for today’s children, also.

Green Circle was developed by Gladys Rawlings a dedicated teacher and civil rights activists that was touched by the hardening of the hearts of the the children and parents involved in the Philadelphia school community regarding the busing policies of the school district in 1951. We added dialogue rules to teach the children.  We call it ROPES:

R for Respect    O for Openness    P for Participation    E for Exploration  and S for Safety.

The following is a list of concepts that are introduced in four 1/2 hour flannel board presentations to a group of children by a trained parent or volunteer.

Session I:

__The Green Circle represents “your world of people–the people you care about”.

__The Circle is Green to represent, “life, growth, and expansion”.

__The Circle must grow to include family and friends.

__It feels good to be inside the Green Circle…..

__It feels bad to be outside the Green Circle…..

__You are the most important person in your world of caring, because you can decide who is in and out of your circle of caring.

__People who are outside the Green Circle feel the same as you did when you were on the outside

__You must take positive action in order to include someone in your circle.

__Each person is unique, but we all share common needs.

Session II

__People can be both rich and poor and be in the Green Circle.

__People of all different sizes and shapes can be in the Green Circle.

__People of all colors can be in the Green Circle.

__People of all religions can be in the Green Circle.

__People of different ages and genders can be in the Green Circle.

__All people belong to the human family.

__Our Circle grows when our hearts are compassionate and loving.

__Each person must decide for themselves who will be in their Green    Circle.

__Other people influence you in your decisions and your relationships.

__You can know how it feels when someone else is left out.

Session III

–Storytelling:  The Story of Churkendoose.  Ends with this poem:

Does the Pear Tree say to the Apple Tree “I hate you because you are not like me?”  Does the Green Grass say to the Sky so Blue, “I’m green, why aren’t you green too?

A Rose smells sweet because it’s a flower.  An Onion tastes strong, a pickle tastes sour.  They are different, but they all get along; And, no one thinks its wrong.

MUST I BE A CHICKEN OR A GOOSE?  Or…Can’t you like me as a Churkendoose?

Session IV

Class Problem Solving:

1.__State the Problem

2.__Brainstorm the solutions

3.__Talk about the solutions

4.__Choose a Solution

5.__Evaluate the Solution.  Did it work?

Closing Activity–Keeping open to Surprise Packages

*****If interested in becoming an official participant/ trainer for this Green Circle program/process, please contact Cynthia Yoshitomi at:

We will be setting up training programs in the Fall 2016.  The Scripts are in Spanish and English.  We welcome Parents, Grandparents, Teachers, Administrators, PTA members.  We welcome private and parochial schools to participate also.  We have great reviews from Santa Monica School District.  Los Angeles School District and California PTA.