Articles in Category: Commentary

Commentary - Meditation - Health and Well-Being - Modern Spirituality - Contemplations

Commentary on current events and news from a spiritual perspective.

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson


An English couple who have battled depression for years recently saved their marriage and got a new lease on life by attending a positive thinking workshop. They learned:

-    to stop living in the past,
-    how to shift their perspective from negative to positive,
-    and that it really doesn’t matter what other people think.

For British readers, more details on the workshop are available at

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Flash Mob of Thanks

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Students honoring their teachersAmerica's school system doesn't seem like an obvious source of inspiration these days. But recently students in a Massachusetts middle school surprised their retiring principal with a memorable going-away present and the story is inspiring all who hear about it.

Somehow they got him to go up on the school roof and then treated him to a flash mob that included a sizable crowd of students, parents and staff dancing to the song, "Don't Stop Believin'."

This story brings to mind the film Mr. Holland's Opus where graduates honored their retiring music teacher by returning to surprise perform his own composition for him.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

We Find What We’re Looking For

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Looking-ForNews from right here in Virginia where VOICE, an interfaith coalition of 50 faith organizations, has managed to get pledges of $30 million from a number of big banks, including Bank of America, to help families in local counties who lost their homes in the 2008 foreclosure crisis.

This is one of literally thousands of good news stories that receive virtually no attention in the mainstream media. Viewers’ appetites tend towards darker fare. But we can always find bright spots if we look for them.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Back to the Source

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson


Scientists in Sweden and Italy are excited about seeming proof of a phenomenal new energy source, known as Energy Catalyzers, which are similar to nuclear reactors but do not produce any radioactivity or hazardous waste.

These “E-Cat devices” are being touted as a solution for both our energy needs and climate problems worsened by burning fossil fuels. While this is encouraging and sounds like a positive step (replacing a dangerous energy source with a less hazardous one) it does remind us of our chronic tendency to keep missing the obvious.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Don’t Dream Bigger, Wake Up!

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

wake-upPresident Obama spoke to graduates at Ohio State University this past week, telling students: "I dare you, Class of 2013, to do better. I dare you to dream bigger," Obama said.

One can easily applaud the sentiment but the logic makes utterly no sense. Dreams are for dreamers,  it’s reality where the work is needed. The American Dream has failed for that simple reason. It’s a dream, and dreams are not reality.

Imagine if the President had said, instead, “I dare you to wake up.” Imagine young people waking up to the reality that the only solution is to be authentic, to experience life from the inside out, to make balance the priority so that they experience happiness as who they innately are, not something they need to get through a career, marriage, shopping, sex, fame, money, etc.


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Land of the Free? Not for Everybody

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Republic In America IncarcerationAmerican prides itself on being number one. Apparently America now jails 2.2 million people. So, with just 5% of the world's population, we boast 25% of its prisoners. America is the number one jailer in the world.

In 2011 almost half of all prisoners were incarcerated for drug offenses. That's a stunning statistic, especially when you connect it with a recent poll that determined only 7% of Americans feel that the government is winning it's war on drugs.

If prison isn't working, what will? How about asking this question: "If so many people are using drugs, what's wrong with reality?" Locking up drug users doesn't address this question.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Facing The Wonderful Truth About Yourself

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Breakthrough-Looking-ThroughYou may have read about Texas Senator Ted Cruz's impersonation of Senator McCarthy, accusing Defense Secretary Nominee Chuck Hagel - without a shred of factual evidence - of collecting speaking fees from North Korea. The story was printed because it was inflammatory enough to grab eyeballs. It's not true and decades ago would never have gotten any ink.

Why do so many non-stories like this get published? Because they distract us from facing the really urgent issues of the day. At the moment, I'm not referring to the economy and climate change, I'm musing about how we see ourselves.

Marianne Williamson famously said, "Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." How odd. Why would we fear facing this wonderful truth about ourselves?

Saturday, 06 April 2013

Truth Doesn’t Hurt, Lies Do

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Greedy-Business-PartnersA recent Reuters story by Daniel Trotta quotes a study from Brown University that enumerates the cost of the Iraq war at $1.7 trillion plus $490 billion in veteran benefits and predicted the overall price tag could rise to $6 trillion over the next forty years, counting the interest on that long term debt.

Ouch. That smarts! Oh, wait, not for whoever profited from selling the weapons, got overpaid to mastermind the killing of 134,000 Iraqi civilians, plus whoever will be earning all that interest for decades to come.

War has always been good business for the elite. Incredibly, here in the 21st century, virtually no-one seriously connects this massive debt with... our national deficit! And no-one challenges the ridiculous idea that cutting social services, rather than warring is the way to prosperity. Or at least less poverty.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Let Go to Happiness

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

let-go-to-happy-smallAccording to Carin Rockind, in her blog article Women Should “Lean In’ to Happiness Instead, “While common Western wisdom believes that success leads to happiness, hundreds of research studies show that the opposite is true. Happy people are more successful in every possible measure. Happy people are physically healthier, have better relationships and are more productive at work. Customers like working with happy staff; employees prefer a happy boss. You get the idea.”

Do we really get the idea?

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Pay it Forward Fitness

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Pay-it-Forward-Fitness-smallA Fitness Center in Portland called Beast Nation is being billed as the world’s first free gym. Anyone can work out for no charge whatsoever, as long as they agree to commit three random acts of kindness after they leave.

Patrons are enthusiastic about the program and report activities like paying the bill for a person behind them in a line, helping neighbors, and just calling up a friend they haven’t spoken to in a while. Many say they don’t stop at three and have begun to actively look for people in need to help. The gym pays its bills by securing sponsorship from local businesses.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A Time for Heroes

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

heroFor good news we turn to Internet sources that don’t belong to mainstream media syndicates. A report on one of them just revealed that Cincinnati now gets all its electricity from alternative energy sources and is the largest American city to do so. Taken on its own this is an encouraging bit of news; taken as an example of what can be done in any American city it’s inspiring.

Apparently today’s success goes back to the mid 2000’s when city leaders created green policies and appealing financial incentives including one of the nations first and biggest tax breaks for home and business owners who went green.

Monday, 03 June 2013

Character Is As Character Does

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Unfair-competition-ImageTiger Woods won another golf tournament this weekend. Getting lost now in the tide of victory stories is a comment he made to the press, explaining why he provoked an audience reaction that disturbed a competitor's shot.
"The marshals, they told me he already hit, so..." is what he said. To which one of the marshals, John North, responded: "Nothing was said to us and we certainly said nothing to him. I was disappointed to hear him make those remarks. We're there to help the players and enhance the experience of the fans. He was saying what was good for him. It lacked character."

Successful competitors do whatever it takes to win and Tiger Woods is one of the most successful competitors in recent American history. America has a proud history of competition and, as every American knows, we are the best at pretty much everything.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Blow Back

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Consequences-Green-Road-SignThe recent horrific Boston bomb attack left millions asking "Why?" Today, the answer.

According to an April 23 HuffingtonPost blog by Simon McCormick, "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 'the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack,' the Post writes, citing 'U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.'"

His article concludes with: "The Boston Bombing took place just days after a deadly attack in Afghanistan killed 17 civilians, including 12 children, according to the New York Times. The Afghan government blames the C.I.A. for the attack, while the agency itself refused to comment."

Monday, 06 May 2013

The Steam Roller Gets Flattened

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Cheating-Concept-Next-ExitA recent Reuters story tells the tale of Florian Homm, 53, an American hedge fund manager nicknamed Steamroller who was just arrested in Europe after five years in hiding. A federal grand jury has indicted him for fraudulent investment practices that lost his investors about $200 million.

His strategy included what's known as "portfolio pumping," artificially inflating the value of a company by internal cross trading, which has no other purpose than to misrepresent profitability. This can encourage investment and justify higher fees.

What fascinated me in this story is the brazenness of his actions, including writing and publishing a memoir that describes how he fled with cash stuffed in his underwear. His weren't crimes of neglect, sloppy accounting or bad bets. He seemed to be deliberately, consciously, one might even venture "proudly" cheating his customers.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

It’s Up, It’s Down, It’s Meaningless

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Analysis-of-stock-market-graphIf you work on Wall Street you're celebrating the news: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the best-known stock market average in the world, is at an all time high. If, on the other hand, you fall in the somewhat broader classification of "regular people," you're not cheering... because you've received utterly no benefit.

Even though the stock index has doubled since March 2009, making this the third-best rebound since World War II, it's simultaneously marked the single worst labor-market recovery since World War II.

It's up, it's down, it's meaningless.

Thursday, 28 March 2013