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Alanis Morissette: High Priestess of Body Mind Spirit Integration

By Breath, Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence No Comments

alanis_morissette.jpg From Jagged Little Pill to Flavors of Entanglement.  Part 1. Alanis Morissette and Ken Wilber Seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette takes us on a tour of her life and career by sharing how the threads of her life have increasingly come together into one integral tapestry—where once there may have been jagged fragments, we can now see conscious and playful entanglement with all of life….WhoAlanis Morissette, seven-time Grammy Award winner and creator of the best-selling debut album of all time (Jagged Little Pill), and Ken Wilber, founder of Integral Institute and author of more than two dozen books (most recently, The Integral Vision). Summary: Alanis Morissette is one of those rare souls who has been brave enough to live, learn, and grow in the public eye, over the course of eleven albums, starting with Alanis, when she was just seventeen. Now, with her latest album—Flavors of Entanglement—near completion (no release date yet, sorry!), Alanis and Ken explore how her personal and professional life has increasingly reflected an integral impulse towards embracing as much of the human experience as possible. In one of the many light and humorous moments of this dialogue, Alanis shares that she gets bored hanging around with people who have less than a "multi-tentacled" approach—truly one of the most original, and funny, ways we’ve ever heard someone express their understanding an integral life.  One of the fascinating elements of this dialogue is that the discussion of Alanis’s personal and professional life meshes into one unified story. Her art is a reflection and expression of who she is, who she has been, and who she’d like to be—truly an astonishing feat, given that most of what the music industry produces is a superficial shimmer of human drama and emotion, not the deep, complex, and passionate narrative that life really is. As Ken shares, Alanis recently told him that she thought her purpose was to "connect the human and the divine," a remarkably succinct summary of what art has the power to do, and, indeed, is one of its highest purposes.   Alanis, with a laugh, says she’s "always had a little love affair with God," although, she reflects, God is also the first thing to go when she gets stressed. Here, Alanis and Ken both share their deep appreciation for the role that shadow work can have in helping one have a clearer connection with ever-present Spirit, and also in just leading a happier, healthier life. Ken goes on to mention that, in today’s world, "God has a serious PR problem." The mainstream media simply doesn’t know the difference between contemplative, liberating, "experience it for yourself" spirituality, and dogmatic, mythic, "believe the Word or you’re going to hell" spirituality. Alanis, needless to say, is a radiant example of a spirituality that transforms, a spirituality that you feel and breathe and touch, where one is connected directly to the center of this conscious and living Kosmos Why Integral?: In this dialogue with Alanis, an Integral Approach is particularly useful in understanding the various kinds and functions of shadow work and spirituality—two things that Alanis clearly considers fundamental to her own growth and development; and, of course, she’s right. In an Integral Life Practice, the four core modules considered essential to health and development are body, mind, spirit, and shadow. Having had to confront body-image issues as a teenage performer, and obviously possessing an extremely acute intellect, Alanis has intuitively been touching in on all four bases in her own integral life practice. Regarding shadow work, building on the crucial insights of therapies such as Gestalt, Ken mentions what he calls the "3-2-1 Process," one truly Integral way to approach one’s shadow elements. The process itself is pretty simple—face it, talk to it, be it—but amazingly effective at getting at those aspects of your own psyche that you may be projecting onto others—and not just the darkness in you, but also the light. To learn more about the 3-2-1 Process, see the Integral Life Practice Starter Kit An Integral Approach perhaps shines most brightly in how it illuminates the perennially thorny issue of spirituality and religion—what it is, what it isn’t, and what it means in today’s world, as an integral part of the human condition. One of the simplest and yet most profound concepts in an Integral Spirituality is the difference between pre-rational spirituality (mythic, dogmatic, belief-driven) and trans-rational spirituality (contemplative, liberating, experience-driven)—and because both are non-rational, they are often confused and conflated, with disastrous results (this distinction is often called the pre/trans fallacy). To explore Integral Spirituality further, check out the essay "What Is Integral Spirituality?," Ken’s book Integral Spirituality, and the CD set The One Two Three of God (exploring not shadow work, but the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person dimensions of Spirit).Â

Love your way,  Alan Davidson, founder of and author of Body Brilliance:Mastering Your Five Vital Intelligences (IQs) Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being. Through Your Body 1103 Peveto St. Houston, TX 77019713-942-0923Â

Annie Lennox: Return of the Sweet Dreamer

By Moral Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence No Comments

annie-lennox-pic-by-mike-owen-and-mark-langthorne.jpg NYTimes

September 30, 2007

"Return of the Sweet Dreamer"

LONDON ANNIE LENNOX is a worrier. She worries about victims of war, about African children with AIDS, about the poor and the homeless. She worries about the state of popular music, about every detail of her album packages and Web site, about her stamina as she gears up for an American tour after her fourth solo album, “Songs of Mass Destruction” (Arista), is released on Tuesday. One thing she doesn’t have to worry about is whether her songs move people. She can see that for herself. It happened, for instance, while she was rehearsing with her band just over a week ago, at a former biscuit factory in the dreary Bermondsey neighborhood of London. “Ah, this is the life of glamour,” she said wryly, with her Scottish burr. In her do-gooder mode, Ms. Lennox was about to headline a sold-out benefit concert at the Royal Albert Hall for Peace One Day. It’s an organization that achieved a United Nations resolution making Sept. 21 an annual day of peace, and it is now working to establish that day as a full-scale, worldwide cease-fire. Other people would do the speechifying at the concert. “At the end of the day, people just want to be entertained,” she said. So she was rehearsing a mini-set that tucked her new single, the hymnlike ballad “Dark Road,” between upbeat (but not necessarily cheerful) oldies dating back to her solo debut album, “Diva,” and her 1980s albums with Eurythmics. Midway through “There Must Be an Angel (Playing With My Heart),” which may well be an elegy masquerading as a love song, one of her backup singers suddenly heard the words anew and burst into tears. “The song just opens up,” Ms. Lennox said afterward. “That’s what you’re aiming for.” Click here to read the rest of this article:

Love your way, Alan Davidson, founder of and author of Body Brilliance:Mastering Your Five Vital Intelligences (IQs) Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being. Through Your Body1103 Peveto St.Houston, TX 77019713-942-0923

Blade Runner: Surrender Body Mind Spirit

By Mental Intelligence No Comments

blade-runner.jpg Blade Runner remains one of all time favorite movies. It’s a master of mood, detail, and dystopia. Director Ridley Scott created a world worth admiring and avoiding. His vision is a clarion call to people everywhere to "grow up." Master Body Mind Spirit and Integrate! Generate the power, and the courage, we need to change the world into the pardise we most want tolive into. Love your way…ad  NYTimes

September 30, 2007

A Cult Classic Restored, AgainÂ

by Fred Kaplan

IT’S been 25 years since the release of “Blade Runner,â€Â Ridley Scott’s science fiction cult film turned classic, but only now has his original vision reached the screen. “Blade Runner: The Final Cutâ€Â — as the definitive director’s cut is titled — was scheduled to play at the New York Film Festival Saturday night, opens at the Ziegfeld in New York and the Landmark in Los Angeles on Friday, and comes out in December in a five-disc set with scads of extra features.Â

An earlier director’s cut played in theaters 15 years ago to great fanfare and is still available on DVD. But the new one is something different: darker, bleaker, more beautifully immersive.

The film, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,â€Â takes place in Los Angeles in 2019. It follows a cop named Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) who hunts down androids — or, in the film’s jargon, replicants— that have escaped from their slave cells on outer-space colonies and are trying to blend in back on Earth. What’s hypnotic about the film is its seamless portrait of the future, a sleek retro Deco glossed on neon-laced decay: overcrowded cities roamed by hustlers, strugglers and street gangs mumbling a multicultural argot, the sky lit by giant corporate logos and video billboards hyping exotic getaways on other planets, where most English-speaking white people seem to have fled. Click here to read the rest of this articel:

Alan Davidson, founder of

and author of Body Brilliance:Mastering Your Five Vital Intelligences (IQs)ÂÂ Watch the Body Brilliance Movie

Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.Â

Through Your Body

1103 Peveto St.

Houston, TX 77019713-942-0923

Tributes to Whisper

By Emotional Intelligence, Moral Intelligence, Passion, Strengths, Values No Comments

Alan my dear:


Yes, I read your wonderful tribute to Whisper; we made a donation in his name to the greyhound adoption people here in Houston — I didn’t know if they had notified you yet.


Do I have the four questions form for Byron Katie?


Joanne 🙂


Dearest Alan,


I just read the article you wrote about Whisper. I was once again in tears – especially at the end.


Alan, these are your words from your heart. I love and support you in communicating your heart’s feelings and message that Whisper was a big part of your life and your teacher.


Girrrllll, I never knew you thought you were a Cat Person………… HEHEHE


It’s Perfection.


I love you,




Hi Alan. Wanted to see how you are doing. I am sorry for your loss. If there is anything I/we can do for you let us know. I’ve been thinking of you and Jim for days since I heard.Â



So sorry to hear about Whisper. What a great dog/friend he was. I will miss him.  Katy Caldwell


Alan, Good Thursday morning. Rebecca and I just wanted to offer our condolences following the loss of Whisper. Reading your e-newsletter we both could tell how much you loved him.  We’re thinking about you. All the best, Stephen


So sorry to hear of your loss. thank you for sharing it with us. C Christina R. Giannelli


Hi Alan,

I just read through your latest newsletter and wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear that Whisper has passed. I know how much you loved that baby. My thoughts are with you. Love, Gigi ________

Hey, Alan.Â

Your tribute to Whisper made me cry just when I needed it. What a wonderful creature he was – with something to teach all of us. Thank you for that, and much love, MaryScott _________________

Whisper’s Passing;

We had our Travis for almost 17 years. I grieved hard for him. In Feb we adopted Travis 2 who I think is really Travis 1 in there back to be with me????? The universe is a mysterious and glorious place. Thanks for sharing!

Love, Gayle



I am so sorry to hear about Whisper. He was such a beautiful dog and we could all see how he was a wonderful friend to you. I’m sure Whisper is very thankful for all the love you gave him. May he rest in peace…

Love ya,



Oh Sweetie,  I am so so sorry to hear about Whisper. Your tribute is very moving. My heart is breaking, too. Dogs are so much better people than humans are. I know Whisper appreciates your many years of loving care and he is all the better for having known you, too. You were indeed blessed and lucky to have found each other. My heart goes out to you.  Love, Kristi _____________Â


Sorry to hear about Whisper. His obituary was touching. We can learn so much when we open our hearts.

All the best to you and Jim.



Lovely essay on Whisper. Very well-written. Bob

_______________ Dear Alan, I was saddened to hear of Whisper’s passing. I remember him well. Your eulogy of him was so beautiful and fitting. While not a dog owner, I can relate to what you said. Heybro, Symbra and Frodo were my Whisper. Animals do teach us much if we are willing to learn. Thank you for sharing him.Love,Joanie _______________Â

Dear Alan,

I’m so sad to hear about Whisper moving on to the spirit world. I’m glad I got to see him when I came to see you a month ago. He really was quite regal. There are so many things we can learn from our furry friends.

Although we can never forget such losses, we can only be eternally grateful for the chance to experience such a wonderful love. I’m sure he’s keeping an eye on you as we speak.




Oh, wow, Alan

that was a beautifully touching story about your Whisper.

It was sad to read of his passing, because you made him so real with your eloquent description of him. You made him feel like family to me, too.

It sounds like there won’t be another to take his place, but teachers come in all shapes and sizes, and usually without much fanfare or warning.

I wish joy to be in the majority for you now,

Big Hug,



Thank you, Alan and Whisper, for sharing this story of this stage. My first, also large dog and I shared 16 years. When the vet came to our home in the fall of 1999 I had a similar experience. I took the puppy Chouette had accepted into the family to share his last months and my mother’s dog (my doggy brother) and walked on the beach to celebrate continuation and carrying Chouette lightly with us in our continuing Life. Rescue remedy may ease the nervous system’s transition. Much love and gratitude, Paris Kiely ________________Â

Alan, bless your heart. I am so sorry to hear about Whisper. He served you well and taugh you many lessons in life. I hope he is enjoying his rabbit chasing?




Alan, so very very sorry to hear about Whisper….I know what a chunk of the heart that leaves with the soul of your loss….I just had a beautiful friend of 16 1/2 years put down…it still hurts but atleast she doesn’t anymore. Take care and save another life by adopting…love Jeanie

Jeanie Davidson

________________Alan, I cried when I read about Whisper. He sounded so beautiful in body and spirit. I hold you in my heart right now. I know how painful this can be. How incredible are our animal companions – what sacred, precious teachings my cats have graced me with. Warmly, Jodine ___________


Wow… what a beautiful story about Whisper. I have tears in my eyes as I finish reading your email. What gracious joy and love between you and that will always remain. Isn’t life amazing that you found each other and shared such glorious years together.Â

Sending a warm hug your way.


_____________Â Alan;Â Thank you for sharing your journey with whisper. As an animal lover, cats mostly, I was touched and cried with you at the loss of this Buddha spirit. The love that you shared changed the energy in my otherwise hectic day. I love you and I hold whisper and all she represented in my heart.Â


________________ Hi Alan, I just wanted to send my condolences to you and Jim on the passing of Whisper. I never met him, but through your beautiful story of his life I feel like I’ve know him for years. I hope one day I find a companion (whether it be dog or man) that loves me unconditionally and teaches me the things Whisper taught you. Love, David Truly ________________Â

I will miss that gentle soul, but I know that he was an old soul returning home after a great journey.

There were many times he would be in the massage room helping to create the ideal healing space – even when you were not there!

You gave him the perfect home, companionship & love.Â

So sorry for your loss,


Love your way,  Alan Davidson, founder of and author of Body Brilliance:Mastering Your Five Vital Intelligences (IQs) Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being. Through Your Body1103 Peveto St.Houston, TX 77019


Whisper Buddha

By Emotional Intelligence No Comments

buddha-nature.jpg  40 Mile-an-Hour Athlete, Prize Winning Greyhound, and Canine Incarnation of Buddha Himself, Dies in Texas  September 22, 2007, Saturday—Whisper, my fourteen-year-old friend and canine-other, died Saturday morning in my hands.   I’m reminded, as I often am when an animal friend dies, of a story told by a small town vet:   Shane, a four-year-old boy seemed so calm, petting the Blue Heeler for the last time. The boys parents and the small town vet, who’d come by the house to put the cancer riddled dog “to sleep,” wondered if he understood what was going on.   Within a few minutes of the injection, the old dog slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept his death without difficulty or confusion. They sat together for awhile, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.  Shane, who had been listening quietly piped up, "I know why." Startled, they all turned to him.   Shane said, "Everybody is born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, animals already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long." Whisper mastered “Loving everybody and being nice” long before I met him. He was his name sake, quiet. I can count on two hands the times I heard him bark. But he could give a look that spoke a thousand barks, and launched more than one trip to the dog house for me. He was dignity incarnate, a bit timid, and wise beyond knowing.  The voice told me to adopt a greyhound. I get messages sometimes inside my head. Shocked at the directive to adopt a dog (at the time I thought of my self as a cat person), I found myself at Greyhound Pets of America-Houston looking for a retired racer.  I’d already seen several beautiful dogs I liked, when I asked to meet five-year-old Whisper. Immediately out of his cage–he ran lickety-split down the long row of the kennels to throw his lanky black body up to look out a port-hole window. A minute later he turned and ran full speed right at me; hurled his front paws to my shoulders and looked me in the eye. I knew Whisper was a sign from the gods and, that day, we became a family.  During our long walks up and down Houston’s classy North and South Boulevards, people stopped to admire his elegant good looks: dark black fur with a blazing white star on his chest, short white socks on his feet, and a soft white tip to his whip long tail.  In winter we’d tromp through Herman Park, where he strutted-his-stuff in a black fleece jacket and long black leash. He sure could turn heads.   He was his most handsome when he met a new dog buddy, standing stock still, chest held high; his long ears pointing straight up and his equally long tail arching back and up. What a striking, handsome dog he was.  Whisper was soon going to work with me. He’d curl up on his bed in the corner of my massage room. Some clients came to see him as much as me. He was so serene, still and quiet. I called him my Buddha dog. Peace just seemed to flow from him. When I was agitated, he’d nuzzle me with his cold long snout and remind me to pet him…and to chill.  Whisper’s greatest gift to me was his knack for just being. When I took the time to study him I was impressed by how easy it was for him to BE his true self. A dog that walked, ran, pooped, and slept when he wanted to; a friend who showed kindness and care when he wanted to; a being who demanded I tear my focus away from my selfish-self and pay attention to something, anything else—albeit him, usually.  He taught me responsibility—the basic art of doing what needed to be done. Walk him. Feed him. Love him. Even when my ego preferred to indulge my self-absorption, Whisper taught me, “It’s not all about me. It’s about all of us, other people, our animal friends, and the sky/earth song around us.” My first Koan, the Japanese Zen cosmic riddle, asks, “Does a dog have Buddha nature?”  My mind will never grasp the answer. But my Big Heart just has to remember Whisper, a master of being his true/unique self, to know, “Yes!” Dogs, as all things, have Buddha nature. Being is being. It’s everywhere I am conscious. Every time I’m BEING my true self, I’m Whisper, I’m Big Mind, I’m Buddha nature.  Whisper’s legs had gotten shaky and his hips pretty weak these last few years. He’d already lived long past the life expectancy for a big dog and a retired racer. I like to think all those years of sleeping at the foot of my massage table, or curled up next to me while we meditated, kept him healthy and whole.  Yesterday he slipped in the kitchen and couldn’t get up. His back legs wouldn’t hold him. We had to carry him outside.  He’d walk a few tottering steps, stop, and cautiously move on, or fall down…there was no way to know. I spent a lot of the night (and next morning) on the floor with him. I held, petted, and thanked Whisper for all the many gifts of friendship he’d given me.   At the vet’s Whisper was his serene self. There was nothing else to be done for him. Leg shaved and the port in place he rested, alert, head up, ears at attention, eyes wise and knowing, peaceful as a sphinx. I held his long snout in my palms as Dr. Michelle pumped the gentle death into his vein. He gave us each a last look, closed his eyes, and died. Moments later I let his head rest on the pallet. In death he looked elegant, as always; he had a gorgeous way of curling up, his long body a graceful line, his ears surprisingly still at attention.  Whisper had one more gift for me. I felt the shell I’ve carefully built to protect my Big Heart, breaking open—wide open. As I surrendered to the immensity of our friendship together, I cried. I trusted the pain I felt just as I trusted my opening heart. He was true and giving, as always, up to his very end. Thank you, Whisper, my teacher, my Buddha friend. I smile to think of you chasing rabbits through Elysian Fields, being your happy, care-free, true Buddha-self.  Love your way, ad 

Alan Davidson, founder of and author of Body Brilliance:Mastering Your Five Vital Intelligences (IQs)  Watch the Body Brilliance Movie  Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.  Through Your Body 1103 Peveto St. Houston, TX 77019 713-942-0923