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Don't Date Buddhists With Guns
Mid-life meet-ups with sex addiction, insanity & spiritual growth.

Don't Date Buddhists With Guns

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Long Live Day of the Dead!

November 1st in Antidepressposts [ No Comments ]

Life is too important to take seriously

~Oscar Wilde

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

~Steve Jobs

I love Day of the Dead. Not just because I love so many fabulous dead people and enjoy celebrating their lives, but because it is the only holiday that joyfully embraces the thing that gives any sense of meaning or urgency to this life. We are not around (in this form) forever so it makes sense to prioritize the people, places, thoughts, ideas, and activities we pay attention to, and find a way to liberate the rest.

Death is inevitable and important. Grief is devastating and necessary. And funerals are a fantastic ritual to expedite the process of release. That’s why for each of the past two years the Day of the Dead has marked the launch of Cemetery Mary’s funeral planning festivities where, with a group of talented actor/singers, we hijacked the ideas of holding a open casket funeral for the dead people, and used it as an event for the living to toss out the dead dreams, dashed hopes and disappointments that may mess with the ability to enjoy our days.

Funeral sing-alongs that offer people jazzy music plus a nice mahogany casket to symbolically release pain, woe, bitterness, suffering, anger, failure, and a full spectrum of nasty personal habits, can be very popular events. Many funeral guests said they got a glimpse at what it feels like to take life’s suffering a little less seriously, which then extended outside the service.

Personally, Cemetery Mary was enthusiastically hurling excess baggage into the casket. And, of course, what happens when we dump the junk? Lots of extra space opens in our lives makes room for lovely, miraculous new growth.

But we don’t need musical funeral events to take stock of what needs to be released each year. I’ve already started a collection of crap I don’t plan to drag into the New Year. I get a little cranky about aging, middle age anarchy of the uterous (ladies, I’m talking perimenopause), and the plummeting value of my real estate and retirement fund. But then I remember that those thoughts, ideas, and distractions get in the way of my good mood so I write them down, torch them (safely), and recite my favorite mantra:

Oh well.

We are always growing and molting simultaneously. Such is life (and death).

Best to let it all go.

If you want help to expedite this process, check out the essay questions below. Then take your written answers to a nice cemetery, bless your answers, set the paper on fire and do a happy dance.

If you are anything like the crowd at our funerals, this is how it will make you feel:

Rest in peace, love, and laughter whenever possible.

Essay Questions:

  1. What is growing and thriving in your life?
  2. Does it bring you joy, meaning, or satisfaction?
  3. If not, why not? Is there anything you can do to change this?
  4. What is dead or dying in your life?
  5. Are you ready to let it go?
  6. If not, list all of the ways it/he/she still serves you.

Best Eulogy Ever

June 11th in Antidepressposts [ No Comments ]

Cemetery Mary is taking time away from her very important job of self composting to post this eulogy that the recently dead Carla Zilber-Smith recorded LIVE from Heaven to be shown at her funeral last weekend. Who is Carla Zilber-Smith? Just you wait. The world will soon know, but if you check out her blog, you will know first.

Or if reading is too cumbersome, as it is in this ADHD world of high tech multitasking — stay tuned for the release of the documentary about Carla, Leave Them Laughing.

Finally help for the annoyingly cheerful

March 16th in Antidepressposts [ No Comments ]

images-2With Spring in the air and good moods taking hold of the masses, here is something that can help.

Farmer Makes Manure into Magnificent Love Art

February 16th in Antidepressposts [ 1 Comment ]

imagesHere’s someone who gets the crap-into-compost philosophy of living. No matter what is going on in our lives, it can be reinterpreted in a loving way. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

Best Use of Next 21 Minutes of Your Life

January 18th in Antidepressposts [ 1 Comment ]

MLKI have a dream men and women, boys and girls. This dream treats you to an important piece of history in memory of Martin Luther King Jr.. More importantly, it treats you to the most inspiring perspective on fairness and equality in speechmaking history. May we apply it to all of our brothers and sisters — especially those who are denied the same rights and privileges of society that most of us have. If you want to know a bit more about what I’m implying, check out this story. We shall overcome indeed.Marriage

Am I My Own Best God?

January 5th in Antidepressposts [ No Comments ]

Guest Post

By Shawn McAndrew

© BlueOpal Publishing, January 1, 2010

images-5Recently I was talking with a colleague and the phrase “I am my own worst enemy” popped into my head. Wait a second, I thought. What if I am my own best God?

I mentioned this to my colleague, and he directed me to write a 250-word essay and send it to him by Christmas. Unfortunately, I never got around to writing the essay by his deadline, and for some reasons I am glad. One reason had to do with death.


Yes, death.

Recently I was a part of a production called Nothing Holding Me Back, staged by Cemetery Mary, the Reverend Up, and the Fairy of Forgiveness. The whole idea was to have a funeral for dead dreams, fallen hopes, unresolved resolutions. Put all these “deaths” into a casket and let them go. Free ourselves of our thinking debts, where we chastise and berate ourselves for not living up to expectations (our own, usually), or fail to reach goals we set for ourselves at some point in our lives. Why hold on to these ideologies when all they do is make us plod along our weary paths?

The purpose of Nothing Holding Me Back –to get rid of what’s not working and make space for new, positive thinking/doing to come in–got me into the mind space of, what if I am my own best God? It seems, then, that I choose my destiny, take responsibility for my actions, stay aware of what I’m doing each moment of my day, and reap the consequences of it all.

RR029986On the eve of the production of Nothing Holding Me Back, Cemetery Mary informed me that her uncle, James Kavanaugh, had died the day before. I did not personally know him, but I recognized his name. He was an author, a former priest who blew away the secret veil surrounding the priesthood. And so after attending the program, I spent New Years Eve at my computer, researching who James Kavanaugh was. I was blown away by the writings I found on the Internet, just from a cursory Google search of his name. What I came to find was the answer to, What if I am my own best God? Because it seems that Dr. Kavanaugh had pondered a similar question throughout his storied life; while he was a priest, when he wrote the expose, A Modern Priest Looks At His Outdated Church, and when he continued his life after leaving the priesthood, got married and had a family. Reading his poetry opened a window to his soul for me, a window to humanity’s soul.

And so it seems that Mr. Kavanaugh was ahead of me in time by answering my question about being my own best God, as evidenced in his poem, You Are Your Own Answer, from a collection of his poetry, Quiet Water.

You are your own answer,

Beyond books and seers, psychics or doctors

Beyond the strength that comes

from what you have accomplished.

Your weakness is as valuable as your strength,

Your helplessness as lovable as your charm.

You are God’s Child and each step on the way,

He gives you bread and not a stone,

food and not a serpent.

All is part of the plan, as you look within

and listen to the quiet, persistent voice

that tells you who you are…

images-3So, yes, I am my own best God. Not a reflection of anothers God, but my God, the God who serves me best, if only I listen to that spiritual voice that directs me, tells me to have faith, to follow my destiny, take responsibility for my actions, and stay aware of what I do and say. To distill all the passages about sowing and reaping, we do reap what we sow, listen to the quiet, persistent voice that tells you who you are.

Guest posts such as this one are welcomed and encouraged. Contact Cemetery Mary at for tales of transformation.

FUNERAL SING-ALONG: 2009 Is Dead, Hello New Decade!

January 1st in Antidepressposts [ 4 Comments ]

22103272_320X180Okay, so you missed it.

Watch the highlights here and buy your tickets early next year!

And for background about the concept, see what Rachel Swan has to say here.

A Must Read…Happy Holidaze!

December 24th in Antidepressposts [ 4 Comments ]

This will be the best gift you get this holiday.

images-3This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005. What a tale of crap into compost.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect themimages looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it.

Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

images-2When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

–Steve Jobs

Tips to Tolerate Family During Holidays

December 19th in Antidepressposts [ No Comments ]

Tips to Tolerate Family During Holidays

crazy-family-pictureSet limits. Decide how much time you can realistically spend with your beloved bloodline without resorting to alcohol, prescription meds, or violence—then stick to that length of time. If you have family relations that are difficult or painful, it may be better to keep the visit brief, ie: cocktails & crudités versus sharing a cabin in Tahoe for the week.

Practice self-discipline. Consciously resist emotional reactions to inflammatory or thoughtless remarks from family members. Instead, lock yourself in the bathroom. This gives you time to come up with the searing retort, and the perspective to choose not to use it. Powder your nose, flush, wash hands, and then return with a more mature reaction, such as:. “It may not have been you’re intention, but I found what you said hurtful. I’d like us to enjoy our time together, so let’s focus on conversation that isn’t sensitive to either of us.”

Set your heart dial on LOVE. Recalibrate often. Decide to be the place of love in your family. No matter what. As you start to feel judgmental, angry, or feel an urge to dunk your uncle’s head in the punch bowl, ask yourself, “What kind of inner experience do I want to have? Heartburn? Or intoxication (spiritually speaking). Choosing to stay loving, no matter what, can make the difference between having a pleasant family holiday, or one that gives you hives. And sometimes the most loving thing you can do is removing yourself from the situation. This can also be accomplished without leaving the scene, by relocating to the kids table.FamilyFoodFightFoto1

Don’t agitate. Although it’s sometimes tempting to our love of drama to stir the pot a bit, holidays are usually not the best time to launch a group therapy improv session. Keep things light and cordial, shallow even, and press the hold button on diving into meatier topics that require real relationship work. Especially if there is a lot of booze and card carrying NRA members in the picture.

No Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’s. Informing family members what they “should” or “shouldn’t” do can provoke colorful, possibly inflamatory reactions. Don’t assume you know what’s best for the other person (even though you do). Even if your insight can be helpful, “shoulding” on people usually creates resentment and resistance, which in turn causes indigestion.


Manage Your Expectations. Better yet, don’t have any. Author and spiritual leader Eckharte Tolle said, “Accept the present moment as if you had choosen it.” May we all take that pithy little line to every family outing, and apply it no matter what is going on. Another term for this is Radical Acceptance.

Leave the country. If any of my family is reading this, YES, I’m in Argentina right now, but it’s not to flee you, just all the commercialism. I’m just saying, for others, travel to foreign lands during holidays may be useful.

images-5Consult an Expert. If none of these fabulous ideas can allow you to tolerate those who claim to love you, and those you claim to love, then get thee to the forgiveness expert. Here’s the one I love, because within her message is the one thing I know to be true: Forgiveness First. Everything Else Follows.

Suggestions from blog readers…

Good wine and a lot of patience. Oh, and of course the “two deep breaths before replying” rule is in full affect.


Spend the week prior to that stressful event taking care of yourself first. Don’t go anywhere tired or spend 48 hours preparing for visitors and tire yourself out. Get plenty of rest.


Individual medication, good. Medication in mashed potatoes, better. (That way the vegetarians eat it too.)


Here’s a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skill I’ve picked up along the way called: “Radical Acceptance.” If you ever find yourself differing in opinion with someone, you basically accept the difference in the moment, with no resistance or argument, no need to be right. Although it sounds impossible, once you get the hang of it, it works.


And she said “but my family doesn’t accept me for who I am”… and he said “perhaps, but are you accepting them as they are?”  Change roles. Decide it’s everyone else who needs love and acceptance, and give it to them.


The 21 day complaint free challenge…google the website or the book Complaint Free World. I did it the first time 2 years ago…I learned alot and recommend it, even though it’s self help and I find that annoying. Oops. Yes, I’m starting the diet over again.


You could ditch your own family and you spend the time with your girlfriend & her family. Not that I would ever do that… oh but wait…that’s exactly what I’m doing.


Adopt the triple “F” attitude. FFF=Forced Family Fun. Like it. Like them. Whether you like it or them or not.


Act as though you are watching a movie…you don’t get mad at the movie for how it makes you feel, you enjoy the emotion and then you go home, right? We are all the star players in own story. Enjoy the scene, whether it’s well written or not. Eventually, change your lines and your responses, and you’ll change the script (try musical comedy, they are the most fun).



images-6This from Mayo Clinic:

Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change.

–Katherine Piderman, Ph.D., staff chaplain at Mayo Clinic

50 Ways To Kick A Habit

December 17th in Antidepressposts [ No Comments ]

Whether you are able to attend our fabulous and weird funeral sing-along event this December 31, 2009, please feel free to sing our songs at the top of your lungs. May this reconfigured tune inspire you to make that change before the change makes you.

50 Ways to Kick a Habit

Sung to tune of 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Stolen without the permission of Paul Simon

(Get the tune via karaoke or

The problem is all inside your head

She said to me

The answer is easy if you

Take it logically

I’d like to help you in your struggle

To be free

There must be fifty ways

To kick a habit

She said bad habits are a pattern

That intrude

But there are some tricks to lose them

With a cheerful attitude

And I’ll repeat myself

At the risk of being crude

There must be fifty ways

To kick a habit

Fifty ways to kick a habit


Stop blaming your mom, Tom

Don’t need to hate dad, Tad

Just have to accept, Shep

And get yourself free

You don’t have to cheat, Pete

Just turn off the cell, Nell

Start telling the truth, Ruth

Just get yourself free

Stop looking for fault, Walt

Don’t pass the buck, Chuck

Stop living in fear, Dear

And you can be free


She said it grieves me so

To see you in such pain

But there is something you could do

That would make you smile again

I said I appreciate that

And would you please explain

About the fifty ways to kick a habit

She said just find a place

To dump out all your junk

Bad habits, grudges, grievances

That get you in a funk

And then she chanted them

Like a sly old Buddhist monk

Yes there’s fifty ways

To kick a habit

Fifty ways to kick a habit


Get to the gym, Kim

Toss out the smokes, Bloke

Start eating more kale, Dale

Just get yourself free

No more chasing skirt, Burt

Stop blaming the man, Dan

Quit blowing your stack, Mac

And get yourself free

Give up the old pain, Jane

Open your heart, Bart

Just learn to forgive, Liz

And you can be free