Monday, June 30, 2008

Ad Nonsense

Friends have been after me to sign up for Google AdSense. I had no idea what it was, but a dear soul took pity on me and walked me through the process so I did it. You can see the ads to the right of this post.

I don’t get to choose the ads, but there are plenty of rules about how they work. I’m not allowed to click on the ads on my own site. Anyway, after a complicated sign-up and verification process, I was good to go. The ads would be active within 24 hours.

I waited the requisite time and signed on curiously to the blog. The first ad is a list of five options.

Rare Seeds
Flax Seeds
Tomato Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Poppy Seeds

I burst out laughing! Seeds for Sanctuary started out as an homage to metaphysician Emmet Fox. His books were compilations of his brief essays, ideas, thoughts on metaphysics. A group of us starting meeting monthly in New York City for spiritual connection and I wanted something that kept people connected. Weekly Seeds is what that thing became.

AdSense is creating nonsense on the blog for the moment. The second ad on the site right now is for a Zen teacher. They use non-sense to teach sense all the time. Go Google!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Seeds X, 26

Seed: Kwatz!

Zen masters, masters of all kinds really, can be hilarious. Often humans picture masters as realized beings, tabulae rassae, blank slates, that do not evince personality. The word of today’s Seed disabuses us of that silly notion.

“Kwatz!” is an exclamation used by Zen masters to shock a student out of dualistic thinking. Say it aloud even if you have to do it quietly because you’re in a padded cell of a cubicle. Doesn’t the word itself make you smile?

Consider using it for your practice for a week or so. When you notice that you’re caught in old thoughts or memories of any kind, just say to yourself, “Kwatz!” from your master self.

There is a master self within each of us that knows when we’re just playing out the old. Listen to her/him, and he’ll/she’ll take you right into now. Kwatz!

Be content,

Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An Idle Mind

True confessions. I play solitaire in order to foment my creativity. Lately, it’s been Spider Solitaire. I had an interesting experience when I started out with it.

First, there were no instructions with the game. The computer assumed I knew how to play it. I didn’t. Second, I chose the simplest level of play. Third, I discovered (by accident) that if I pushed the H key, I’d get a hint as to what card to play next.

I’ve been playing it for a while now (about 25 minutes before this blog post came to me) and I hit the H key far less but it came to me that Spider Solitaire makes a great spiritual lesson.

First, spiders are notorious for the webs they weave. They’re about connection metaphysically. I’m weaving a web of creativity when I play Spider. I intend my solitaire games to produce creative results in my life.

Second, the game is about ordering the cards. Isn’t that what I’m doing when I play in order to create? I’m asking that a new order, idea, or something be revealed to me.

Third, I need to make my mind idle whilst I play or else I lose, even against myself. I don’t know about your brain but mine is definitely too busy most of the time. An idle mind is a fertile mind, full of possibilities. If I’m too full up, I need to have an idle mind even more!

Fourth, the H key is the perfect metaphor. Give me a hint, we say, when we’re looking for a particular piece of information. The Universe gives us hints all the time IF we’ll let our minds be idle.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Six Degrees of Connection

This is an amazing planet. I had a bloggers dream-come-true happen in my life last week. I received an email entitled: Greetings from The Huffington Post with an invitation to blog on Spirituality for their Living Page. The editor and I exchanged a couple of emails and then I called her. I wanted a human, at the very least, voice connection before I committed to her pages.

I also wanted to run some possible post topics by her so that I didn’t shock her when she got my first one. When I told her what I was considering, she said, “Wow, the comments will be amazing!” I guess, as a blog editor, that’s what one wants. Anyway, I felt free to go forward with it after I talked to her.

As you know, here I write about spiritual practice. On my Ode Magazine blog, I write strictly about peace. (For over one year now!) Go to Ode Magazine to view them all. For Huffington Post, since it’s so well known for its liberal politics, I decided to use Spirituality in the World as my theme. I’ll be writing about worldly things with a spiritual spin. My first post on Huffington ought to be this week. I’ll post a link on this page when it’s up.

One of the questions I asked my new editor was how she’d heard of me. She told me that someone on her staff had recommended me to her. Fortuitously, (the universe is a conspiracy, remember?) that staffer walked right by my editor’s desk at that precise moment (Who plans these things?!) and she was able to ask who recommended me.

Well, come to find out, a former acting student from my beloved’s classes at Tufts University with whom I had a chance to connect (we discovered that we are birthday siblings—you know about that, right? People who have the same birthdate, though not the same year) who left Boston after he graduated and moved to Vancouver and then back home to L.A. and who is working in Australia right now suggested his friend from God only knows where who works for Huffington check me out.

The most wonderful part of this is that I also have to credit another connection made for me years ago by the woman I met through a friend I knew in seminary in Kansas City (they’d done summer stock together in college) who sublet her New York City apartment to me (who “happened” to be a bridal consultant so she referred me) when I officiated at the wedding of two wonderful souls. We’ve stayed in touch and I christened their two daughters as well. (It is my sincere hope that I get to officiate at their daughters’ weddings and christen their children as well.) Anyway, he’s a compu-wizard and he’s the one who patiently, lovingly helped me set up this blog a year and a half ago. He didn’t dis me or my computer innocence. He walked parallel with me for as long as I needed him. The one thing I remember majorly from that conversation is: Be consistent. Decide how often you want to post and do it. I did. And now I’m a Huffington invitee.

So, beloved, never let it be said that you have no connections! The greater truth is that the eponymous six degrees of separation are rapidly becoming six degrees of connection and we have no idea where those connections will take us.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Working Miracles

Seeds X, 25

Seed: Working Miracles

Rev. Ron Fox wrote the Daily Guides in Science of Mind Magazine for December 2007. In one of them, he said, “Jesus didn’t call his miracles miracles; he called them his work.” It made me think about being a miracle worker.

Are you one? Annie Sullivan was. She’s the woman who taught Helen Keller to speak. And she too thought it was her work.

Could your work be miracle work and is it possible that you don’t even know it?

When I sit in session with a client, I don’t really intend miracles, but miracles definitely happen. I too think of it as simply my work.

Maybe we’re all miracle workers just doing the work that is ours to do? If that’s the case, then no wonder miracles happen.

Be content,

Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dream Lawsuit

Ordinarily, I don’t dream about the law even though the people who know me say I have a lawyer’s brain. The other night, though, I had a dream that I started a class action suit for people who have the symptoms of Type II Diabetes against all the food companies that use genetic modifications and or variations on corn syrup in their products.

It was a weird dream. I was the Veronica Hammil character (of course!), the brave, beautiful public defender speaking Truth to the powerful Food Establishment about the damaging effects of their chemical choices on the immune systems of those with Type II.

On a lark, and wide awake, I called my brother, Frank, who is an attorney, just to ask him if such a class action suit was possible. He mumbled to me about statutes of limitations, product liabilities, and rules of discovery. He knows his stuff.

Our conversation got me thinking though—about doing the right thing. Which the companies who messed with the natural chemistry of foods did not. I’m not going to name names because there are too many of them but I ask you to think on this.

Type II Diabetes is a disease of the autoimmune system unlike Type I Diabetes which is caused by a malfunction of the pancreas. In Type I, the carrier has no insulin, and needs it to survive. No one really knows why the pancreas quits sometimes, but it does. In Type II, the carrier usually has plenty of insulin but their blood cells are self-protected against it.

The best explanation I ever heard for Type II was from western-trained and wholistic M.D., Helen Wechsler. She said, “It’s like having a brand new car and a can of gas, and you can’t figure out why the car won’t go.” She went on, “Every single cell you have is wrapped in a sort of saran wrap that keeps the insulin out.”

When, many years ago, I asked her what caused the saran wrap, she asked me if I’d ever drunk diet soda. (Lived on it through high school and college.) Argh. She ranted for a few minutes after that. The list was very long. Basically, the only foods anyone should ever eat are live from the earth, according to her.

Here’s the thing about my dream lawsuit. My subconscious mind was looking for some place to park the blame for this disease in my world and in the world. Blame, dear one? Not so important. The greater question is: now that Type II Diabetes has become epidemic in the west, what are we going to do about it?

How about this? What if every single one of us who has the disease began to communicate to the food companies about why they are losing our patronage? A not-so-small group of citizens could bring about a huge change in the way food is created.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Recording Mex

Here’s a sneak preview of what’s coming from my latest project. My sweetie and I decided to record my first novel and release it as a “paperless book” on audio. We did the recording in two days! Almost nine hours of book.

The name of the book is Oklahoma! Hex and it’s the first in a series called The Spiritual Adventures of Mex Stone. According to the engineer, we ought to have our first edit from him in two weeks, and are we excited!

You see, I’ve been writing these books for eleven years—with joy. In love with my characters and their plots, my books don’t fit into the pigeonholes that agents and publishers seem to like, bless them.

Here’s the promo paragraph on this first book:

The Spiritual Adventures of Mex Stone

Mex’s Backstory

Based in New York City, Mexicali Rose “You can call me Mex” Stone is above all a human being having a spiritual experience. She’s an intuitive investigator who solves her cases from the inside out. By listening to the inner voice who Mex calls Spirit, she catches her culprit, and always learns something about herself.

U.S. passport in her purse, Mex finds herself summoned in all directions: way south to Tierra del Fuego, up north to the Western Isles of Scotland, east to the Mafiosi underground of Japan, at home on Broadway and up the Hudson to her country home. In between Mex manages to fall in (and out) of love with gifted women from whom she learns and with whom she grows spiritually.

Where has Mex Stone been? (The first six . . . already written, and ready to go.)

Oklahoma! Hex finds Mex on Broadway solving the murder of Oklahoma!’s pore Jud. An old flame and producer calls her into the mix, and she works with her favorite cop, Michael Ryan Kelley. The cast of Oklahoma! is infiltrated with Santería practitioners. She ends up in Tierra del Fuego, the southern-most inhabited point in the world, as she faces down the leader of a worldwide web of evil. She meets her Divine Right Partner, Veronica, and of course, she falls in love.

There are five more in the series and many more planned.

The wildest thing about this is that I’m used to being ahead of my time. When I found the engineer (Keith Richardson is his name and he’s an angel—especially for remote, live recordings. If you need his services, email me, and I’ll send you his number gladly.), I realized that it was time for everything to come together for this project.

In short order . . .

I got the lyric reprint rights
Found the engineer
Found a web designer who spoke my language
Connected with a publicist who wants to play
Made a limited partnership with my sweetie, an angel in the Broadway sense, who funded it
Got the URL (not live yet)

You see the trend here, I’m sure. Get clear, Beloved. Stay with your visions till you’re clear. Stick with it. Persevere. Go for it. Once you’re clear, the Universe conspires to put all the people, places and things in your path that you need.

Watch these pages for an announcement that the website is ready to go!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happiness Happens

Seeds X, 24

Seed: Happiness Happens

A Chinese proverb attached to an email inspired this Seed.

“If you want happiness for an hour—take a nap. If you want happiness for a day—go fishing. If you want happiness for a month—get married. If you want happiness for a year—inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime—help others.”

First, do you want happiness? Or are you, for the most part, happy already? Usually when I ask this question in a therapy session, people are surprised to discover that they’re pretty happy most of the time.

Second, what kind of happiness do you want? Happiness forever? Reach out to others. Happiness for a stolen hour? Read a novel.

Happiness actually comes from happenstance, circumstances, the events of our lives, and isn’t a goal to be sought but a result to allow. She will come calling if we’ll just live our lives to the fullest.

Be content,

Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blogs Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On Simmer

Boston is a sauna today. One must first move the air in order to walk outside. Our porches are finally stained and attempting to dry in 88% humidity.

Yesterday I had a meeting with my editor about a cozy mystery series I started five years ago at the challenge of a friend who is a book publisher. They’re called The Esther Jackson Eliot Mysteries and they center on a character who is a former art professor. Based in Truth-Or-Consequences, New Mexico, the books are all about community.

At the time of my friend’s challenge, I wrote about 50 pages and let it go. But the books have been on simmer ever since, and something let me know that it was time to turn up the heat on this series so I sent it to my editor. He waxed eloquent and helped show me myself as an author so I’m going back into writing these again.

Those of you who know me know that I write a series I call The Spiritual Adventures of Mex Stone. I’m in the midst of my seventh novel in that series. These novels are designed to act as spiritual teachers. Mex is an intuitive investigator, and she solves her cases by communing with her Inner Voice whom she calls Spirit. Mex travels all over the world for her cases.

And, you know, the books I write about her work on simmer as well. I get a basic idea for the next one, do research, and then let the whole thing simmer on a back burner in my mind. Then, one day, it’s time to move the pot of the book to the front burner and burn up with keyboard because simmer’s over and I’m cooking with gas.

Don’t be surprised at simmer, my friend. More things are created this way than we even realize! I didn’t know that something I started five years ago was ready for cooking till it was ready for cooking. Never doubt that “simmer” is where a lot of projects need to be whilst you grow, heal, change and otherwise get ready for cooking time.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Politics of Hope

I’m reading a remarkable book I just happened upon when I sold eleven boxes of spiritual books to a local bookstore. It’s called The Cure Within by Harvard-based Anne Harrington. It’s a history of mind-body medicine and it’s fascinating.

In it, Ms. Harrington tells the story of two doctors involved in a clinical trial for a combination of four drugs they abbreviated with the letters EOHP. One doctor had a 75% success rate with his patients; the other had a 25% success rate.

In discussion it was revealed that the first doc had rearranged the initials of the drugs to spell a word:


Barack Obama is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president as I write this. Part of his political philosophy is hope. He has hope. He offers us hope. Hope is currency in Obamania.

He’s not wrong. Some people are asking if he’s crazy, but consider the results of the doctors above. Hope cures. In and of itself.

The United States, after eight years of pummeling economic catastrophe, needs curing. We need hope. Even false hope cures.

Who knows if the drug cocktail caused the doctor’s results or if the hope itself did? Does it matter? I don’t think so. I think a politics of hope is the perfect prescription for our suffering economy.

Hope away!

And VOTE in November, please.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Staying In The Problem

Seeds X, 23

Seed: Staying In The Problem

Oooh, oooh, are humans good at this! I see it all the time in the various peace organizations on the planet. They say, “We must fight for peace.” Uh, I say, dear one, could I direct your attention to that screaming oxymoron? Fight? For peace? Not so much.

Being against something, anything, is a way of staying in the problem instead of being a part of the solution. I’d rather be part of the solution. Sure, we know that what’s happening in all kinds of places on this planet isn’t the best or highest good. Judging, another way of being against, isn’t the solution in Darfur or East Timor, or the South Bronx.

Ask yourself: are my ideas helping me stay in the problem or are they fostering a solution? Solutions are much easier to devise when we stop judging, stop being against, and start being for.

Be content,

Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Best Is The New Worst

I’ve stolen my title from New York Times Op-Ed contributor, Susan Jacoby. The full essay appeared in the May 30th, 2008 issue. Ms. Jacoby writes:

PITY the poor word “elite,” which simply means “the best” as an adjective and “the best of a group” as a noun. What was once an accolade has turned poisonous in American public life over the past 40 years, as both the left and the right have twisted it into a code word meaning “not one of us.” But the newest and most ominous wrinkle in the denigration of all things elite is that the slur is being applied to knowledge itself.

A reader of the piece commented:

"'Elite' has become the new 'liberal'. ... It is 1984 in a nutshell, where war is peace, freedom slavery, and ignorance the greatest wisdom."
Gary, Oregon

Until reading Ms. Jacoby’s damning words, I thought “elite” was a good thing. The top. The crème de la crème. The Best. Elite was something to seek. She goes on:

The assault on “elite” did not begin with politicians, although it does have political antecedents in sneers directed at “eggheads” during the anti-Communist crusades of the 1950s. The broader cultural perversion of its meaning dates from the late 1960s, when the academic left pinned the label on faculty members who resisted the establishment of separate departments for what were then called “minority studies.” In this case, two distinct faculty groups were tarred with elitism — those who wanted to incorporate black and women’s studies into the core curriculum, and those who thought that blacks and women had produced nothing worthy of study. Instead of elitist, the former group should have been described as “inclusionary” and the latter as “bigoted.”

The second stage of elite-bashing was conceived by the cultural and political right. Conservative intellectuals who rose to prominence during the Reagan administration managed the neat trick of reversing the ’60s usage of “elite” by applying it as a slur to the left alone. “Elite,” often rendered in the plural, became synonymous with “limousine liberals” who opposed supposedly normative American values. That the right-wing intellectual establishment also constituted a powerful elite was somehow obscured.

“Elite” and “elitist” do not, in a dictionary sense, mean the same thing. An elitist is someone who does believe in government by an elite few — an anti-democratic philosophy that has nothing to do with elite achievement. But the terms have become so conflated that Americans have come to consider both elite and elitist synonyms for snobbish.

Susan Jacoby is the author of “The Age of American Unreason.”

My readers will be amused to find that Ms. Jacoby’s words sent me scurrying to an elite website for fans of musical comedy. I just knew there was a lyric which used the word “elite,” but what one? And from what show?

42nd Street, dear one.
Where the underworld can meet the elite, Forty-Second Street.

I don’t know about you, but I am rapidly tiring of the press pundits in all media who tell us that our civilization is going to hell in a handbasket. It isn’t. It’s simply changing, growing, shifting and healing as civilizations have been doing for millennia.

If, because I know that, I am an elitist, let me know where I can get a lapel pin which proclaims it, will you please?

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Beauty of the Dark

This lovely poem came across my desk on Friday. As someone whose primary path is that of the Divine Mother, I think it treats Her dark side as the gorgeous reality it is!

O God, black can be beautiful!

Let us be aware of black blessings:

Blessed be the black night that nurtures dreams.

Blessed be the black hole out of which creation sprang.

Blessed be the black cave of imagination that births creativity.

Blessed be dark wombs that cradle us.

Blessed be black loam that produces nourishing food for our bodies. Blessed be black jazz that nourishes our souls.

Blessed be black energy that swirls into gracefulness.

Blessed be black coal that heats us.

Blessed be black boiling clouds, hurling down lightning and cleansing rain.

Blessed be even our own darkness, our raw, undeveloped cave of shadows.

O God, help us to befriend black and not deny its power.

Help us not to cover over the dark with fear but to open to it with your grace and to be open to your life within the dark.

May we discover the blessings that lie deep within our holy dark so that we may freely affirm that Black is beautiful indeed!
— William Fitzgerald in Blessings for the Fast Paced and Cyberspaced

Try reading it aloud to yourself.