Awakening Through Music

Article cover photoIn these times of dramatic human transformation, stories of individual lives can give us glimpses into our own process: our struggles, our breakthroughs, our miracles, our challenges, our despair, and our inspirations. Daniel Bellone is a personal inspiration for me. He is a musician, an awakened man, a visionary, a guide, and, I’m honored to say, a friend. For the past two years, he has been touring the world delivering an alchemical blend of Oneness teachings, music, mantras, and audience participation with his “Awakening Through Music” concerts. He is also the cover subject of the new Oneness Living Magazine published online by Teresa McBratney.

Daniel Bellone has been living his dream. One could easily imagine that since he looks like a dream that living a dream would be a no brainer for a “guy like that”: nice family, intelligent, educated, handsome, gifted, sweet-natured, popular, successful. Of course, it was not. Like everyone, Daniel lives in the world, a world stacked with obstacles and heartbreak and duality and pushback and disappointment and insecurity. Life isn’t easy for anybody. But, through the combination of our intention, our efforts, and Divine grace, life can become easy-er. Much easier.

It is the goal of the Oneness movement to awaken humanity through the “technology” of the Oneness Blessing (also known as Deeksha). Daniel’s life shows the fruits of that awakening beginning to ripen.

If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the idea of “living your dream” as impractical or downright impossible, Daniel is the counterpoint to your internal arguments. At one point in his life, he was working in a somewhat satisfying technology job in his home country of Argentina when he decided he wanted to go to Oneness University in India. The majority owner of the business readily agreed; but the minority owner refused. Daniel made a bold move and said he was going, and if that meant losing his job, so be it. He did lose his job —and off he flew to India, not knowing what would happen there nor when he got back. He just knew he had to go.

A single course at Oneness University changes the course of one’s life forever. When Daniel returned home, he didn’t know what he was going to do. He was beginning to see a different life, a life that had more adventures and trips to India and world travel and emphasis on his reignited love affair with music. But in our modern world, everyone needs to make a living. To his surprise, his company contacted him immediately and said they wanted him back. This should have been good news. Dani hesitated. But his bosses had already concocted an offer he couldn’t refuse: double the money he’d been making to be an independent contractor on his own schedule and on his own terms.

Stories like this seem improbable — at least if you were to contemplate the same bold move in your own life. But take a trip to Oneness University and of the hundreds of participants from around the world you’ll meet, you’ll likely see people looking a bit dazed, staggering around, and pinching themselves the first few days wondering how the heck they’d even gotten there. They hadn’t had the money. A job wouldn’t allow them a month off. Family needed them. Yet, here they were. And each of them had a story like Daniel’s. An improbable twist of faith fulfilled their dream of coming to India — sometimes they didn’t even know it had been a dream!

Daniel’s story tells us something: we don’t know what is going to happen in our lives. We project constantly: if I do that, then this will happen. And yet, when you are stepping out of your comfort zone for the purpose of growing yourself and contributing to the world, miracles happen. In fact, “everything is automatic” despite the fact that we take credit for our advancements and blame ourselves for our digressions.

Oneness Living Magazine is a new online publication dedicated to raising our vibrations and inciting us to live larger and more deeply than we ever have. You can read the entire story of Daniel and more by subscribing.

Namaste. Now go live some large!

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Thou Shalt Not Be a Boring Speaker



Engagement. What a nice word. A couple planning to marry. A child engrossed in a book or a game. Friends in an intense conversation. Fascinated students eager to learn. Members of an audience listening to a riveting talk.

It’s also an elusive goal, writing that book, creating that curriculum, and delivering that speech. How do you ensure engagement? It was a big topic at Cornell University’s Entrepreneurship@Cornell symposium last weekend. Continue reading

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I Feel Your Pain. But Do You?

Feeling pain? Take a pill. Or maybe not this time.

Feeling pain? Take a pill. Or maybe not this time.

Got a headache? Take a pill. Upset? Call a friend. Hurt or injured? Go to the emergency room. Sick? Call the doctor! Fearful? Talk yourself out of it, or run and hide. Sad? Bury it with work. Offended? Fight back! When the the pain comes up, so do our defenses. Our goal is to feel better as soon as possible. And what’s wrong with that? Right?

Then why do spiritual advisers and healing teachers admonish us instead to eschew these short-term avoidance tactics and instead to “feel it if you want to fix it” and to “go into the pain” and to fully experience your “charges” when they come up? Doesn’t that seem counterintuitive and hard on us?

And what, exactly, does it mean to fully experience your own pain? Weren’t you already feeling the pain, and isn’t that why you already took the pill? Continue reading

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Shorten the Long and Winding Road

winding_road_11Here is a trick I use on walks and runs and cycling. Oh, and life.

First, I have an idea about where I’m going. My route. A destination. A duration for the outing. I get on the road and I look toward the horizon, my imagined end point, or the apex of my circuit. I fix an eye on the most distant thing I can see, maybe a tree top. That’s my map. That’s my direction. That’s my True North. Continue reading

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Give Your Brain a Break

Dinner with his family is one of many daily routines for the President.

Dinner with his family is one of many daily routines for the President.

Our brains get tired. By the end of the day, “brain fog” and “fuzzy thinking” accompany irritability and lack of productivity. But it’s easier than you think (with your tired brain) to sustain mental energy with smart snacks, intelligent lists, and indispensable apps.

Routines are your friend. Recent brain science books, including Willpower, describe how making lots of decisions is to your brain as lifting lots of weights is to your muscles. President Obama recognizes this phenomenon and reduces the number of decisions he has to make with daily routines around eating, working out, dressing, and spending his evenings.  This leaves him fresher for bigger decisions involving, um, leading the country. Continue reading

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Find My iPad! Au secours!

Deeply, madly.

Deeply, madly.


Losing my iPad is like losing my head. I’m that attached to it. But, it happened.

How could I be so out of my head that I lost touch with my iPad for long enough for it to go missing? Here’s how: I was at a weekend-long film festival. I was sleep deprived. My head was awhirl with images and ideas and sounds and discussions of French films. I was leaving early in the morning and returning, exhausted, late at night. Continue reading

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Why Am I So Stuck?

The not-so-merry-go-round of repeated failures.

The not-so-merry-go-round of repeated failures.

“Lead with your gift. Let your gift inspire the rest of the show.” Donny Epstein, on the Triad of Change.

It’s two months into the New Year. You haven’t stuck with your resolutions. You’re not exercising. And those extra holiday pounds are making your pants tight. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Oh, wait. Sorry. That’s me I just described. But maybe it’s you too. Or maybe you have another dashed resolution. Is there a way to get off the not-so-merry-go-round and get on another ride that actually goes somewhere?

And what does it mean to “lead with your gift?” How do you figure out what your gift even is? Damned if I know.

Oh, wait. Sorry. I do know. It’s the Triad of Change. Continue reading

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Oscars and Emotions

Naomi Watts in The Impossible: just before the wave hits

Naomi Watts in The Impossible: just before the wave hits

I will be watching the Oscars tonight — alone, in my jammies, under a cozy blanket, with a delicious dinner. I can’t wait.

I love the movies. By that, I mean to say I love my internal experiences produced by the movies. Yes, movies are an escape. But movies are also a way to exercise emotions by proxy, by temporarily immersing ourselves in imagined situations and personalities. While it’s certainly not the same thing as first-hand experience our own emotions are a shade of approximation for what we witness on screen.

Through movies, we get to feel and remember thwarted, marital, parental, familial, lustful, and romantic love; we ride the virtual roller coasters of fear, anxiety, suspense, and uncertainty in safety; we examine and analyze the solutions our movie characters try, fail or succeed at, and wonder if they would work or fail for us; we see and experience lives and worlds that are out of our realm of experience. The movies are a gift, and the makers of movies broaden our view of, and increase our compassion for, humanity every year. That’s what I will celebrate tonight.

Here are a few movies and performances looked at through the lens of emotional impact: Continue reading

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Opened by Love

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

It’s funny how you can read a book or watch a movie where you know the outcome and still find yourself wondering what will happen. Or hoping against hope that there will be a different ending. That’s the definition of a good story.

A few days ago I wrote about quitting and Andre Agassi’s engrossing autobiography “Open.” Up to the point I had read, he had a hate-hate relationship to tennis and was engaged in epic battles against not just his opponents, but himself. He dreamed of quitting, but he didn’t think he could. I wanted him to quit, even though I knew he not only didn’t quit but went on to become one of the oldest players and greatest winners in tennis history. Continue reading

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Choose the Game to Win the Game

Sensory confusion room

Sensory confusion room at the 2011 Venice Biennale

It’s 2009 and I’m lying on a chiropractic table at a Transformational Gate in Westminster, Colorado. “You think you lead with Perception,” my teacher Donny Epstein whispers in my ear, “but you really lead with Structure.” He lingers a moment to let that sink in, and then he walks away.

Whoa! I say, still face down.

First of all, what does that even mean? I hadn’t yet been exposed to Donny’s new Triad of Change and, whatever he was talking about, I took instant umbrage to his diagnosis. “Yes, of course I think I ‘lead’ with Perception! I’m a very perceptive person. So there!” But I just think this in my head. I do not say it out loud. Continue reading

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