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Moving: An Impossible Task

Several years ago my partner Michael and I moved from Ukiah to Santa Rosa, California. We’d been living in Mendocino County for more than twenty years. The house had a surprising amount of space where “stuff” could be stuffed—out of sight, out of mind so to speak. For over twenty years we didn’t have to make any decisions about what to keep and what move out of the space. That is until we started packing up [...]

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What Color Is Your Palette

Recently I attended the Wisdom 2.0 conference and pushed my edge by sitting in on the Wisdom and Technology day-long Intensive. I found myself in a room full of tech-savvy developers, tech entrepreneurs, and Silicon Valley workers, etc. It definitely pushed my edge. Just keeping up with the language was a challenge. I debated with myself whether to change to another intensive where my comfort level would be much higher, such as the Wisdom and Women, [...]

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Thank You

Back Stage Pass

I’m coming up to the one year anniversary since Michael, my dear friend, husband, and partner in New Dimensions for 40 years, passed and I’m pondering that great mystery beyond this physical reality. Some years ago Michael’s Mother Dee arranged her life so that Michael could be there for her great transition. She made a Herculean effort to move from San Francisco to Ukiah to be close to Michael when her health was failing. I remember [...]

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Joyous New Year!

Angels in My Closet

“The sun is peeking through the misty rain as its light brightens the Ukiah valley for the first time on the first day of the new year.” I wrote these words as I was sorting through belongings Michael and I had accumulated for over two decades. We were preparing to move fifty miles south. The following is more of what I wrote at that time, and it is just as relevant now as it was three years ago [...]

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Happy Isles

Happy Isles

As I’m preparing for an upcoming interview with Rick Hanson, Ph.D., I’m feeling excited by his many good ideas for how to rewire our brains to cultivate joy and happiness rather than fear and negativity. His research shows that, even in the most hectic day, if we take 10 seconds several times a day to acknowledge a positive experience, it will build new synaptic pathways in the brain that will be an antidote for our more negative, [...]

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Good, Good Vibes from Sondra Barrett, Ph.D.

A recent guest, biologist Sondra Barrett, Ph.D., and author of Secrets of Your Cells: Discovering Your Body’s Inner Intelligence had this to say about New Dimensions: “What is essential about New Dimensions is the broad range of subjects and that you can trust the caliber of guests. For decades it has been a most respected place to listen.” She gave us permission to reprint a recent essay she wrote for her newsletter below. With a growing emphasis on energy [...]

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Anat Baniel

Creating Enthusiasm

Join me for a simple, yet profound, practice of creating enthusiasm, inspired by New Dimensions guest, Anat Baniel, who works with children and adults with special needs, and is the author of Kids Beyond Limits: Breakthrough Results for Children with Autism, Asperger’s, Brain Damage, ADHD, and Undiagnosed Developmental Delays. She says, “Enthusiasm is a profound act of bringing godlike inspiration to the process.” To begin, remember a time when you were feeling enthusiastic, a time when [...]

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My Sister Is My Mentor and My Dearest Friend

For the past twenty years my sister, Juliette, has been my dearest friend and mentor. Our relationship was not always this easy or loving. We grew up in a household with very little adult supervision, so much of my relationship with my older sister, with whom I shared a room, was filled with strife, stemming from my need for approval and acceptance. I was much like a little puppy dog following her around longing for her [...]

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spirit house

A Spirit House

As I’m leaning back in my chair, taking a break from the narrow confines of my computer screen, my eyes wander over to a brightly painted and bejeweled birdhouse that sits on top of the bookcase in my office. Actually, I call it my spirit house. It is about 7 inches tall, 7 inches wide and 4 inches deep. It has a steeply pitched roof and two small round holes on the front of it that [...]

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Noticing Kindness

Do affirmations work? What if you’ve been looking for a job for months with no results? What if your home is being threatened by foreclosure? These are no small things and there are too many of us in this very place. Saying over and over, “I’m attracting more and more abundance in my life” when we don’t really believe it, can be counterproductive. So, what can we do when we are feeling stressed out and worried [...]

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Finding Our Own Authenticity

One of my circles keeps in touch by email and a monthly conference call. We rotate leadership and each leader suggests a topic for our check-in. This month a circle sister from Canada suggested we focus on the word authenticity and what it means to each of us. The sharing was both deep and diverse. Becoming conscious of our authentic self is no less than a revolution of the soul. It requires a commitment to go [...]

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Choir Flyer

Music: Celebration of the Soul

This is a warning; I’m getting up on my soapbox in advocating the arts, especially music, in our schools. Music has been a thread woven into the fabric of my soul. In early childhood, on Saturday mornings I eagerly opened my album of Prokovief’s picturesque score of Peter and the Wolf. It contained three 78 rpm records which I never tired of listening to with rapt attention. I believe it was narrated by Richard Hale. Then [...]

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What Is The Holy Grail Of Your Life?

As I cope with Michael’s passing, I know that I would not be as strong as I am right now if it weren’t for his belief in me. He didn’t care much for material gain; his heart and mind were intensely focused on seeking wisdom and expressing his highest potential.  His vision was infectious. I can honestly say he was instrumental in helping me not only find my passion but to express it in the world. [...]

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Justine with Drum

Prayer For Michael

As most of you know, my dear partner of 41 years, Michael, passed away on Jan 24th peacefully in his sleep.  He had been experiencing a slow but steady decline in his health for some time due to diabetes. On Wednesday January 30th I, along with some close friends attended his cremation.  It was poignant and powerful.   Five of my circle sisters  joined me to drum Michael into the ethers. They included Alexandra Hart, Suzette Burrous, [...]

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Michael Toms

Michael Toms

Michael Toms, co-founder of New Dimensions, passed at 5:45 AM Thursday, January 24th. Michael was 72 years old. A Tibetan nun Ane Dorje and a Buddhist practitioner Annie Eichenholz (also a hospice worker) came to be with Justine and Michael in the skilled nursing center to do the Buddhist Phowa practice for him. Justine was able to be with Michael’s body for several hours before they arrived silently chanting. He was left undisturbed for at least [...]

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geese in v formation

Questing for New Dimensions

Like a German shepherd playing with a ragdoll, an insight grabbed my heart and mind and powerfully shook me from side to side. Over the Christmas holidays I realized I’m holding New Dimensions in trust for all who may be served by the wisdom, inspiration, and hope in these weekly broadcasts. New Dimensions has grown beyond its visionary founder, Michael Toms. It belongs to you and you’ve entrusted me to keep it healthy, strong, and viable. With [...]

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running rapids

Running The Rapids Of Difficulties

On the Monday before Halloween, I set off on a road trip with my truck and trailer and little doggie Layla. As we were crossing the Navajo Nation, I hit a very rough spot on the road. The trailer began bouncing, fish-tailing, and at times jack-knifing.   I fought very hard to keep us on the road because there was a very steep 50-60’ drop on the left. Finally we slowed down, but we were headed toward [...]

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Enthusiasm for life

Living In The Landscape Of Enthusiasm

In a recent newsletter from Clarity International by Gary and Cathy Hawk a comment grabbed by attention, “When does anxiety seem to have more power over enthusiasm?” I pondered that question because my friends describe me as a normally enthusiastic person, easily excited by life. And, for the most part, it is true. However, if I find myself setting up house in the village of anxiety, worry, and distress then I know it is time for [...]

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Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

Looking At Our Habits Of Mind

Recently I was struck by the words of Tulku Thondup Rinpoche in an interview from the New Dimensions’ archive. He said that the only thing we take with us when we die are our habits of mind. I’ve heard this before, in fact I’ve heard it from various masters for more than thirty years. Yet this time the words had a visceral impact on my mind and body. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s that I’m [...]

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Alan Clements

What Is The Color Of Your Palette

Alan Clements speaking with Michael Toms about the quote from St. Frances of Assisi, “There are beautiful and wild forms within us.” Heard on program #3433 “The World Dharma of Freedom and Non-Violence.” Clements: It is interesting you bring that quote up. I learned meditation by seeing the beauty in myself. This is something that is very little known about the Burmese meditative tradition. The word meditation I learned from my teachers, Sayadaw U Pandita and [...]

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