Category: spirit

  • Should you date outside your tribe?

    Here’s an interesting letter I got yesterday which applies to both men and women:

    Hi Dr. Ali,

    I just bought and read your book on my kindle this weekend and as a Persian girl, born in America, was wondering how you think your principles would work with Persian men?  I am at a point where I am ready to settle down and it seems like all the Persian men just want to play around. I’m 28 and I see a lot of pretty, educated and single Persian girls over the age of 32.  I sit and wonder what they are doing wrong (how are they still single?) and then stress out that I will end up like them.

    The principles in your book make so much sense but it just seems like the Persian community has its own dating rules…what’s your take?  Forget the Persian men who play around and start dating guys from all backgrounds?  Thank you for your book, I look forward to implementing your advice. Looking forward to hearing from you — Mary M.

    Well well well. I really hope some of you are out fishing right now, because we’re about to open up a big can of worms here.  Let’s talk about dating within your tribe, and whether it’s a good idea or not.

    First, let’s think about where these tribes come from.  Until the 20th century, most people lived their entire (more…)

    Continue To Article

  • The secret to joy and fulfillment, Kabbalah-style

    As I was organizing my books today, I came across a slim volume by Kabbalah teacher Michael Berg entitled The Secret (no, not that one — a different one).  Small format, large print and few pages meant I could re-read this puppy in a matter of minutes — and I’m glad I did.  As far as boiling it all down to one principle, this Secret is a pretty good one:

    The only way to achieve true joy and fulfillment is by becoming a being of sharing.

    Profound, eh.  I also like the “three-part progression at the heart of Kabbalistic wisdom” that arrives at this formulation, and I quote:

    “1. The only way for us to achieve fulfillment is by achieving oneness with the Creator [or Source, or Nature, or whatever you want to call it] the source of all joy and fulfillment

    2. Oneness with the Creator is achieved by becoming like the Creator in our essence, for spiritual oneness is accomplished through similarity of spiritual form.

    3. The Creator’s essence is one of sharing.  Therefore, to become like the Creator, we need to transform our essence and nature from that of receiving to that of sharing.”

    Some of you out there have a hell of a time with the receiving bit, so instead of toning that down I’d say work on sharing even more.

    Continue To Article

    Categories: Book Reviews spirit
  • Why it is wise to worship a woman, by Arjuna Ardagh

    I was fortunate enough to come across this article by Arjuna Ardagh on the goddess on Huffington Post as I was checking up on my own article there.  This is now required reading for all my boys and girls.

    Men: this is the highest expression of the unarticulated longing inside your heart for the divine feminine.  It’s also the solution to all of your dating woes.  If this is how you see women and convey it to them, you will have throngs of goddesses adoring you wherever you go.

    Women: this is about you.  Realize that you are the goddess right here, right now.  Ease into it, live it, breathe it, and radiate it outward.  It’s also the solution to all of your dating woes.  If you show up as the goddess and gradually lead him into the inner sanctum of your divine feminine, he cannot resist. This is what the whole Tao of Dating program is about.

    That said, here’s the beginning of the article.  Blog protocol requires that I put up an excerpt and direct you to the original source, so go to it:

    “A few days ago, after a particularly exquisite evening with my wife Chameli, I put this post up on Facebook before going to bed:

    “I have had many, many great teachers in my life. A super abundance. No one and nothing comes close to the woman who is now asleep in the bedroom. My marriage has become the guru, the salvation, the muse, the crack through which the divine shines through.”

    When I woke up the next morning, (more…)

    Continue To Article

  • You, the Reality Distortion Field

    On a sunny day here in Santa Monica, I was driving down the street when I noticed a police car on the other side of the road.

    Of course, this means that I came to a complete stop at the stop sign, well behind the limit line, let all pedestrians have right of way, and smiled in the general direction of The Law — just like every other time I’ve come across a cop car.

    All of this made me wonder: what would the world look like if you were that policeman driving the squad car?

    It would look like the world is populated almost exclusively by law-abiding citizens who are very meticulous about their driving.  Think about it: as soon as people become aware of your presence, they alter their behavior.  You, the cop, are a reality distortion field.  It’s as if you send out these waves of causation, and the world conforms to it around you.

    Well, guess what, boys and girls: we’re all reality distortion fields all the time.  Any time you interact with someone, that someone is also interacting with you — that’s what interact means.  So you only see people in relationship to you.

    Just as there are different versions of you — employee, boss, child, parent, sibling, relative, lover, pedestrian, driver, friend — there are different versions of the people around you.  And you only get to see that version of that person.

    This may even be one of the central operating principles of the universe.  Quantum mechanics says that by observing something, you change it.  At the level of an electron that needs to hit a detector or be bumped by a photon before it’s “seen”, we can grasp that.

    But what if that were also true of the macroscopic world of human relations?

    Well, I already told you that it is.  It’s also one of the most empowering principles of the Tao of Dating: by controlling your attention and expectation, you can change the behavior of those close to you.

    Energy flows where attention goes.  So if you give attention to your partner’s positive qualities, your partner will grow in those areas (heard of an erection? Same idea).  Similarly, if you give attention to the negative qualities — and remember that criticism and nagging are still forms of attention — then those areas will grow.  Take your pick.

    Also, people will rise and fall to your level of expectation of them.  If you expect generosity of spirit and openness of heart, that’s what you’re going to get from your partner.  So expect the best, and ascribe positive intent to their actions whenever possible.

    This reminds me of the story of Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.  Right after his release from prison, Valjean is taken in by the kindly Bishop Myriel, since no inn will offer shelter to an ex-convict.  In the middle of the night, Valjean leaves Myriel’s home, stealing the bishop’s silverware.  He is soon caught and brought back to Myriel, who says that he actually gave Valjean the silverware, and how dare he leave in such a hurry so as to forget the silver candleholders that he also meant for him!  Myriel then reminds Valjean of the promise to use the silver to make an honest man of himself.

    Valjean had made no such promise.  But Myriel held him to a higher ideal than the one Valjean had for himself.  Subsequently, Valjean goes on to become a wealthy industrialist and then a mayor.

    This may just be a story out of a novel, but it does describe reality.  You have enough silver in your possession to hold people to the highest vision of themselves at any time.  The silver is your attention, the expectations you have of people, and the example you set with your own behavior.  Use them wisely.

    In conclusion, I was thinking about the meaning of the expression to turn the other cheek last week.  From the Sermon on the Mount in the Book of Matthew: “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”

    Is this about wimpiness, militant pacifism, or some very literal thing having to do with the time and place Jesus lived in?  Many different interpretations exist.

    Here’s mine: to turn the other cheek means to take the one action that can result in the salvation of the person who slapped you.

    If you slap back harder, you’ve got a slapfest on your hands, and neither you nor the slapper* will be ennobled by it.  Just sitting there like a potted plant won’t accomplish much either.  The only thing that’s likely to make the slapper pause and perhaps reconsider is to turn the other cheek: “What the hell was that all about?”, he’ll think.  And therein lies the shadow of a chance for evolution. It may not work every time, but it’s the only thing that can work.

    That’s what Bishop Myriel did.  It’s what a Taoist master would do — flow with force and offer no resistance.  It’s what Musashi, the legendary Japanese sword master and author of The Book of Five Rings did when challenged to a duel by some street thug who would certainly get killed at the master’s hand.

    Not only is turning the other cheek the furthest thing from wimpiness and passivity, it is also the highest expression of the human spirit: the ability to act deliberately in accordance with principle instead of reacting reflexively.  And it leaves both parties in a better spot than where they started.

    * Slapper is a bit of technical term in England, so all you snickering Brits can settle down now.  Works in this context in any case.

    Continue To Article

  • Video: Dan Siegel on Mindfulness and Feeling Good

    Daniel Siegel, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Co-Director of the UCLA Mindfulness Research Center, author of Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation and all-around stud does a striking demonstration of how you can go from a negative state of mind to a positive one in a matter of seconds — using only one word.

    Even though I’ve experienced and performed many such demonstrations myself, this one’s pretty dramatic in its impact and simplicity, so be sure to watch the first two minutes at the very least. Towards the end, he gives a practical mindfulness technique you can use at any time.

    Continue To Article

    Categories: spirit
  • Haiti Challenge, Day 1

    Awright, gentlemen.  I’m going to make this quick.  And I’m going to make it a no-brainer.

    I want to make you an irresistible offer so you can help Haiti in its time of need, and help yourself in your personal development and love life.  You also become a Tao of Dating customer, with all its exalted honors and benefits.

    Basically, I’m going to donate all the proceeds from the sale of ‘The Tao of Dating for Men’ ebook for the next three days.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Go to the Partners in Health website.  They’re one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits working on the ground.
    https://donate.pih.org/page/contribute/haiti_earthquake?source=earthquake&subsource=homepage

    2. Make a donation of $25 or more.

    3. In the spot on the right-hand side that says ‘Honor someone with your contribution’, put in ‘Alex Benzer’ and my email, dralex@taoofdating.com.
    THIS PART IS REALLY IMPORTANT.  You need to get my email address right, so make sure you copy and paste it correctly in the box.

    4. When I get the notification email, I’ll send you a link to purchase ‘The Tao of Dating for Men’ ebook for $1 (regular price $59.95).

    Pretty simple.

    I’ll be doing another ‘Project Superman’ session tomorrow, which is free to my customers (and only my customers), so the timing couldn’t be more auspicious.

    I’ll keep you all updated on the blog for how the challenge goes.

    Do your part
    AB

    PS: Research has shown definitively that we feel even better after spending money on other people than when we buy ourselves stuff.  Well, here you’re spending it on you AND on others at the same time.  You can only win.  Do it!

    Continue To Article

    Categories: spirit
  • Everyday grace in the supermarket

    I want to share a quick story with you about something that happened at Trader Joe’s grocery store yesterday.

    Lately, I’ve been teaching a monthlong mentoring program for the men entitled The Metamorphosis Program.

    We keep a certain amount of material in the course secret for two reasons: it works better when it comes at you as a surprise; and mystery makes the course look cool.

    Kidding aside, I do want to share with you one thing that I teach in the course.  Namely, the answer to the question, “Who are you really?”

    One of the three answers I suggest is “You are a conduit for the abundance of the universe.”

    If you’re sufficiently confused by that answer to be thinking, “Umm, English please, doc,” then you’re on the right track.

    Allow me to illustrate by continuing the story.  If you’ve ever been to Trader Joe’s here in the US, one of their nifty features is that they always have a ‘freebie corner’ where they’re giving away free samples.

    Most of the time it’s something that I don’t eat, but on this particular afternoon, they had samples of a chicken tikka masala.  And it smelled gooood.

    So I stood in line, and right behind me was a mother with her toddler sitting right in the shopping cart.  The kid was getting a little antsy about the food, and mom was doing her best to calm him down.

    My turn came, and the Trader Joe’s lady handed me my small plate with the free sample.  And, seeing how I was not in a hurry, I handed it to the mom: “Here you go.”

    The mom totally lit up with a heartfelt ‘thank you’ that I felt in my bones, all out of proportion to the gesture . A few seconds later I had my plate (delicious, by the way) and we were both on our merry shopping way again.

    Now it’s not like I donated a zillion bucks to cure malaria here and Pope Benedict is going to fast-track my application to sainthood (which would actually require that I die first, so really – no thanks).  I just passed on a free sample to someone who was behind me in line, who would have gotten it anyway in about 30 seconds.

    But the reaction I got was all out of proportion to the deed – and it made *my* day.  And perhaps made her feel good, too.

    Now this story is a perfect demonstration of your being a conduit for the abundance of the universe.  Let me explain.

    The chicken sample was not really mine.  It was a free sample to begin with.  So I never really owned it.

    By giving it away, I wasn’t losing anything, because I knew there was more of that where it came from.

    And, lo and behold, when I gave it away, more did come my way, with interest: the mom & kid’s gratitude, and the little warming of my heart.

    Well, guess what, boys and girls: that’s true of any kind of possession and giving in life.

    You think you own stuff?  Think again.  You’re born naked and you leave the same way.  Can’t take it with you, chief. And if the economic crisis of the past year has taught us anything, it’s “easy come, easy go.”

    You can’t own stuff.  But stuff can definitely own you.

    Even if you had paid for the chicken, what makes it ‘yours’?

    So the next time you’re thinking ‘my car’, ‘my house’, ‘my boyfriend’, ‘my girlfriend’, as if somehow there’s a stamp of ownership burning your name on that thing, you may wish to reconsider.

    Because when abundance comes your way, you know that it’s just like that free sample – the bounty of the universe presenting itself to you through sheer luck.

    Just as it would be silly to get too possessive of that morsel of free food once it lands in your hand – “this is my chicken now” – it would be equally silly to get hung up on any of your so-called possessions.

    There is no fortune made on this earth, not one, that didn’t have to do with crazy, insane luck.  So there’s no point in getting too attached or proud about what came to you through near-miraculous accident.

    By realizing that you are a perpetual conduit for this abundance — a pipeline for the bounty of the universe — you keep yourself from gumming up the works and getting in the way of your own access to abundance.

    Because the abundance is infinite!  There’s far more stuff than you could consume in 10,000 lifetimes.

    We’re not saying that you should make like Diogenes and give away all your earthly possessions and wear a barrel.  And by all means, protect your garden fruit from the varmints.

    Just don’t get *hung up* on stuff so much that its loss can make you unhappier than its presence can make you happy.

    I always find it funny when people on the road (including myself) won’t let somebody in who’s trying to merge.

    What, like we’re going to run out of road or something?  Or you might get somewhere 4.3 seconds sooner?

    There’s plenty of road to go around.

    Now some of you who are reading this may be in tough spots right now.

    And what I would say to you is act as if you really are a conduit for abundance.  Don’t let this temporary state get in the way of your generosity, your open-heartedness, your openmindedness.

    Get the wheel of giving turning, in whatever small way you can, and the wheel will inevitably come back to you.  As my pastor likes to say, you can only have what you give away.

    So start giving away more of that which you’d like to have! (‘Cause if you’re giving something away, it must mean you have lots of it, right?  Twisted logic, but kinda true.)

    And those of you who are not experiencing privation but are still feeling constricted – let’s get you re-started here.

    Start by smiling at passersby.  Then work up from there.

    One of the most eloquent passages on giving comes from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

    “Then said a rich man, ‘Speak to us of Giving.’
    And he answered:
    ‘You give but little when you give of your possessions.
    It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

    For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
    And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?

    And what is fear of need but need itself?
    Is not dread of thirst when your well is full the thirst that is unquenchable?

    There are those who give little of the much which they have – and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.

    And there are those who have little and give it all.
    These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.

    There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
    And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
    And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy,
    And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
    They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.

    Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes he smiles upon the earth.’”

    And that’s everyday grace, my friends.  Resolve to give of yourself daily and practice being what you really are – a conduit for abundance.  The rest will take care of itself.

    The power is within you
    Dr Alex

    PS: Want to practice some giving right now that ain’t gonna cost you anything?  Forward this message to someone whom you think would benefit from it.

    Continue To Article

    Categories: spirit
  • How to Love Your Enemies

    Many of you wrote in after video blog #6 asking, “How am I supposed to love my enemies? I mean, they’re my enemies! This makes no sense!”

    Hey, I hear ya. So here’s a little explanation of that concept as I understand it. Make sure to rate the video and comment so I know you’re listening, and if you like it, share it with friends via Facebook and spread the good word:

    Continue To Article

  • The Art of Personal Renewal: Lesson from Warsaw

    One of the most moving visits of my trip was to the great city of Warsaw. In this video, I tell you exactly what made it so moving and how it relates to your personal resurrection.

    Especially if you think you’re in a slump, down in the dumps, at the end of your rope, or embroiled in some other metaphor you don’t like, I encourage you to take a lesson from Warsaw. Renewal happens in an instant, and as the saying goes, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

    As usual, if you like the video, please show me you’re alive! Rate it, comment on it, share it with friends via Facebook and Twitter, and embed it on your own website. You never know whom you’re going to touch with exactly the message that they need to hear at that moment. Here’s the link to send it along: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnZyLjthOqM

    Continue To Article

  • Lose Your Baggage

    Hey guys.  Thanks a lot for your enthusiastic response to the videos.  One of you even recognized me in church service the other day and said hi.  This stuff gets around – who knew!

    Here’s another video to stimulate some thinking and reconsideration.

    I’d always wondered what it meant to ‘love your enemy’ and it never made a lot of sense.  Frankly, most of the time I would have preferred that the troublemakers in my life do the polite thing and drop dead.

    However, recently, it made much more sense to me, and after watching this video, it will make sense to you, too.

    As usual, if you like it, please show signs of life by rating it, commenting on it, and sharing it with friends.  And you have my full blessing to embed it on your own site if you have one.

    Continue To Article