Category: 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…)

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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    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.

    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,
    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

    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!

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    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.

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    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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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.

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  • Dating advice for women & men: How to Make New Friends Easily


    Thanks for your super-enthusiastic response to the ‘Project Love’ video.  Seems like it struck a resonant chord with a lot of you.

    The key thing to remember is to just get back to basics sometimes.

    So often we get caught up in the adult world of upholding our own supposed importance that we forget the simple ways to make a human connection — y’know, the stuff we used to do in the sandbox as kids (and I’m not talking about scurrying off with Mary Jane’s toys, you little rascal you).

    The content of this here video is so simple as to almost be elementary — but mega-important! And I bet my entire chocolate stash (and it is vast) that you’re not doing it nearly enough.

    Once again, you get to see me in a way-exotic locale.  And just like the last video, just doing the practice will make you feel good.

    As before, feel free to share it with friends the way you know how (Facebook, Twitter etc).  I bet each of you knows at least one sourpuss who could benefit from this.  Also you have my full blessing to embed this on your own site/blog so long as it benefits more folks.

    The power is within you,

    Dr Alex

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  • A good day for gratitude: What’s going on in Iran right now

    This post has almost nothing to do with dating. So feel free to skip this message entirely if that’s what you’re looking for.

    However, it has everything to do with being a compassionate, aware human being. Which is the real purpose of these articles, as some of you may have gathered by now.

    Right now, on the opposite side of the planet from where I am, millions of Iranians young and old are flooding the streets in protest. Why? Because they stood in line for hours to vote for what they believed in, and someone decided that their votes didn’t matter.

    The regime shamelessly shut down text messaging, websites and all reporting, just so it could have its way.

    Iran is the world’s youngest country. Over 60% of its population is under 30. And frankly, they’re tired of old fogies in funny turbans telling them how to live their lives.

    Our country here, the US, ain’t perfect – the occasional voting irregularity has happened and will happen again. But our model of peaceful transition of power and freedom of expression is still pretty darn good.

    So today, on my gratitude log, one of the five items I put down for which I was grateful was “open means of communication.” It’s quite a privilege, if you think about it.

    Amongst hundreds of privileges we don’t think about every day that the average Iranian kid doesn’t have. Like throwing a party with your friends without getting harassed. Walking down the street in the dead of summer in short sleeves. Or shorts. Having a beer. Having your hair uncovered if you’re a girl. Surfing the web – all of it. Writing a blog without getting tossed in jail. Dozens of other little things.

    So on this day, June 16, which also happens to be my birthday, give yourselves a little gift. Say a prayer for the youth of Iran in their moment of crisis – for all the unarmed kids who got beat up and shot at just for wanting to be heard. Pray for their protection, safety and resolve.

    And if you want to make gratitude a daily practice, join the Gratitude Experiment at It’s a 30-day, totally free program which basically sends you automated email reminders every day to jot down a few things you’re grateful for.

    The idea is that, after doing it for 30 days, it just might become a habit that sticks. Hundreds of you have already joined the experiment. It takes 2-3min a day, and it makes a BIG difference. Trust me on that one.

    Anyway, that’s all for now. You’ll forgive me if I’m not in the mood right to write lighthearted fluffy stuff on why he didn’t call you back or how to get her to come on a second date, but I promise it’ll be back soon :)

    In the meantime, check out this lucid 2min video on what’s going on over there in Iran.  It’s good.

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    Categories: spirit
  • Book review: the recession-busting “Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews

    One of the great reasons to attend seminars is that you just don’t know whom you’ll encounter there.

    Last month I had the good fortune to attend Mark Victor Hansen’s Mega Book Marketing Seminar.  As I was getting my network on in the lobby, someone asked me, “Aren’t you going to go see Andy Andrews speak?”

    ‘Um, who?,’  I thought to my jaded self, and clearly my interlocutor read my mind from the look on my face.  “Oh, he’s terrific – you should definitely go check him out.”

    Well, awright, fine.  If Mark and this here guy think Andy’s cool enough to be on the podium, I’ll go see what he has to say – for a few minutes.  Then I’ll slink right back to the lobby and continue schmoozing.

    Needless to say, I did not return to the lobby before I had heard every last word Andy Andrews had to say.  Not only were his words uplifting and inspirational, but Andy is one riotously funny dude (more…)

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    Categories: Book Reviews spirit