When you watch this documentary, The Music of Strangers, you realize that spirit and music are so magnificently intertwined. You may not be an accomplished musician or even a student player, but, did you know, your heart is the most important part of the orchestra? Because without your heart the music is just as silent as if they never struck a chord. This is a must watch.

It is now OnDemand on HBO or you can purchase the YouTube or iTunes download, or through Vudu, Google and Amazon.

On TV
All times are in Eastern Time
Date                            Channel
Today, 1:50 PM         HBO (East)
Today, 4:50 PM         HBO (West)
Fri, 3/17, 5:10 PM     HBO Signature (East)
Fri, 3/17, 8:10 PM     HBO Signature (West)
Sun, 3/19, 7:05 AM  HBO (East)

We are now in a state of total flux. Not knowing what or who to believe, we hear an echo of our inner voice, crying to be heard over the clatter of ignorance. The main champion of this flux is FEAR, our dear friend, wrapped in a blanket of emotional instability. Either it’s DESIRE, driven by fear and loathing, or GREED attached to apathetic money-mongers, whose coffers are filled with the killed dreams of pathetic believers.

Wake Up, People! Stop complaining about tomorrow and listen to the truths of today. You have traded sincerity and well-being for false promises. Promises which will turn the face of well-being into a scream of despair. Stop! Look! Listen! Do not step off that curb while the traffic is jetting by. There is time to action ahead, but first pay attention to that inner voice, telling you loud and clear, You’re Being Taken For A Ride.

When the dust settles in your mind, and you have a chance to see the clarity of righteousness, you will again make decisions that nourish the heart. At that special time, the bliss of gratitude will rain down Grace, and we will be free of the tyranny that plagues us now.

 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Abraham Lincoln

“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Letters

“My fellow Americans,

It’s a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It’s a letter meant to share what we know, what we’ve learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world.

But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.

Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength. I’ve seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers and found grace in a Charleston church.

I’ve taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I’ve seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other.

I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding.

All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.

I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.

And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We the People.’ ‘We shall overcome.’

Yes, we can.”

A dear friend of mine sent along this post from ScratchPolitics.com. In light of the deep appreciation many of us have for Barack Obama’s service, we thought it would be apropos to pass it on. It’s heartfelt and insightful.

http://scratchpolitics.com/2017/01/16/an-open-letter-of-apology-to-president-barack-obama/

With the exit of Barack Obama, we are losing a leadership based on thoughtfulness, compassion, and hope. This was the mantle of our 44th President and it will be sorely missed. As a charismatic leader, President Obama gave us a feeling of calm and resolve, even in the face of our fears and doubts. There was always the glass half full, and although some could not find their way to appreciate his demeanor we were all left with something more substantial in our lives. And that would be the grace he left us.

Now we are faced with an uncertain future. The highest office of this nation will now be infiltrated with bullying, sarcasm, mistrust, apathy and narcissism. I asked Robert to download information from our friends in the future regarding our present state of affairs and here is the answer that was given.

Part One, The Storm in Time

 “Dear Orange and Omis,

 “I am sending this request—through normal channels—at the urging of my collaborator, Stefan, whom you know well. We are currently experiencing major turmoil in national and world politics. With the election of a new and potentially difficult president, with a complete domination by the conservative wing of American politics, it seems we are headed backward in our evolution right now. It seems chaotic and demoralizing, especially after what many saw as so much progress toward a more caring world. Would you be willing to comment on these developments and advise us about how to react and act here?”

 O’s voice comes through immediately: “I would certainly be willing. These are the times we have described as the ‘Great Storm’. These are actually the death throes of your species and the end of the civilization, as you know it. A heavy-handed patriarchy has dominated your world for all your ‘recorded’ history—5,000 years, plus or minus. Times are indeed changing!

 “You are aware that the time frames we work with—in our group of twelve and with the angelans—cover much larger spans than mere five millennia. When we look at the passage of ages, civilizations, and species, we see millions of years at a glance. The cycles of storming, forming, norming, etcetera, come and go with greater frequency than you would like to hear.

 “The current downturn and upsweep of your political world is but one of many cycles, great and small, that proceed endlessly throughout the continuum of evolving consciousness. The pendulum never stops swinging, adjusting, and balancing the duality forces at play. The age you are living in now—with its place on Earth—is a particularly intense one, as we have indicated through all our messages. That is the raison d’être for the letters and books we have sent to you. This is a time of great movement in consciousness, a time when evolution itself has decided to bring a new acute awareness to the table. (more…)

In 8 days President Obama, along with Michelle, Malia, and Sasha will exit the White House for the last time. Watching Barack Obama over this past week has been very difficult for me. In him, I’ve observed a man filled with compassion, sensitivity, thoughtfulness and integrity. It’s rare to find a political figure with a few of these qualities let alone all of them. I’ve found my emotions welling up with the thought of his departure. His final speech to the country was inspiring. If many of us see a dark spot ahead of us he sees a light. We have to take his positive attitude about the future of this country and make it our own. All that negative feelings will do will be to attract more darkness to the days ahead. We can’t allow this to take hold. The light that we hold inside of us can spread itself into the destructive tsunami heading our way and calm its crashing waves into a compassionate tide of giving. We have the power to be that compassionate, sensitive, thoughtful being, aligned with integrity and a shining example of the man that led our country with grace and gratitude. We love you Barack. Thank you for your service.

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The New Year brings hope to those who realize no man is more powerful than the power of love. Grace touches all who seek the truth.

If we give thought to the process that is before us, the new politic and the new consciousness that carries it, we will immediately become suspect of the future that soul searchers dream of. But this is all part of the illusion we promised to be a part of. There was no guarantee that our illusion would be promising.

It’s all the action of Consciousness, and the game that’s before us is for pro gamers only. That’s what we signed up for, and now we have to play the game better than ever imagined. So what’s the problem?

The funny thing is, we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t the best at what we do. Our ability to laugh and cry, feel joy and anger, this is second to none. We can get through all life’s trials knowing that we control the destiny that is ours alone. Nothing that exists outside of yourself controls the moment, the year, the life that we have taken to be ours.

Of course, some will say that this is a dreamer’s explanation. That these are expectations so grand that nothing could be further from the truth. But that’s the doubter’s way. And the mind of a doubter is the greatest threat to not faring well along the journey.

So, what’s the goal? Perhaps it’s getting through life unscathed. That’s a pretty broad idea, and a wish many are not fortunate to achieve. But it is possible. It’s possible because we have been given an element of design that has a special doorway leading to parts unknown. Especially unknown to our mind. And this would be the heart.

The mind can lead us down corridors of darkness. Sometimes so enveloping that we see no exit, anywhere. So we shouldn’t depend on this mind to give us the light we need to see. We need to depend on the other element, the heart, to open that doorway to light. How do we do this? The best way I know is through meditation. Meditation lets the current in. That current which emanates all around us. It charges the heart and shakes it to its core, with such dynamics that it opens that magical door leading to that inner world. This Is Not An Illusion. For those who practice it daily, or even from time to time, they know that this impression is real. Because at the very moment, the heart vibrates it opens the door to the state of greater satisfaction. It’s the Current of Satisfaction and the Corridor to Grace. Once you feel it, once you live it, your life changes for good.

I’m writing this not as an accomplished soul, or a man living a life of ease, but of someone who is challenged every day, who can wake in the middle of the night and get stolen by that mind of darkness. But I accepted the challenge before I arrived here and I’m not going to lose because of my failings or my doubts. I have reached the first portal in this transformation. I have peeked in and felt the glimmer of peace, the vision of light, the vibrancy of bliss and the grace of gratitude. For me, 2017 shall be a continuation of Conscious Evolution. I wish the same for all of you, as well as strong health and abundance of spirit.

So now the force of good spirit will have to rise in everyone. Those who can feel it will start to radiate with an enlightened calm. Those who cannot will explode with a sadness that will carry them through death into the next incarnation. I’m not giving up on the power of transformation. We are still alive, and our aliveness is the most important essence of the Creating power. Learning how to work it is the magic.

We need to be inspired. But inspiration doesn’t come out of flat words. Inspiration comes from legitimate love of truth. Translating that truth into ‘shaking and waking moments’ is an art that doesn’t gift many. In fact, there are few among us who can stir our bones and light up that marrow within us. We saw one of those people last evening at the opening of the Democratic Convention.

We always hope our leaders have that spark that cannot only lead, but can give us a reason to follow. Where fear is the spearhead for many, the true inspiration comes directly through our heart’s complete connection to absolute Love. This Love sends shivers down our spine. Once settled in that root it bursts upward, lighting up the joy sensations along the way, finally reaching our connector to the Divine and showering us in feelings of bliss. This was the experience, last evening, listening to Michelle Obama inspire. When moments like this touch our lives so deeply we must not forget.

Thank you all. Thank you so much. You know, it’s hard to believe that it has been eight years since I first came to this convention to talk with you about why I thought my husband should be president.

Remember how I told you about his character and convictions, his decency and his grace, the traits that we’ve seen every day that he’s served our country in the White House?

I also told you about our daughters, how they are the heart of our hearts, the center of our world. And during our time in the White House, we’ve had the joy of watching them grow from bubbly little girls into poised young women, a journey that started soon after we arrived in Washington.

When they set off for their first day at their new school, I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls, just 7 and 10 years old, pile into those black SUVs with all those big men with guns.

And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window, and the only thing I could think was, what have we done?

See, because at that moment I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become and how well we managed this experience could truly make or break them. That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight, how we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith.

How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country.

How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.

With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models. And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as president and first lady because we know that our words and actions matter, not just to our girls, but the children across this country, kids who tell us I saw you on TV, I wrote a report on you for school.

Kids like the little black boy who looked up at my husband, his eyes wide with hope and he wondered, is my hair like yours?

And make no mistake about it, this November when we go to the polls that is what we’re deciding, not Democrat or Republican, not left or right. No, in this election and every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.

And I am here tonight because in this election there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, only one person who I believe is truly qualified to be president of the United States, and that is our friend Hillary Clinton.

That’s right.

See, I trust Hillary to lead this country because I’ve seen her lifelong devotion to our nation’s children, not just her own daughter, who she has raised to perfection…

…but every child who needs a champion, kids who take the long way to school to avoid the gangs, kids who wonder how they’ll ever afford college, kids whose parents don’t speak a word of English, but dream of a better life, kids who look to us to determine who and what they can be.

You see, Hillary has spent decades doing the relentless, thankless work to actually make a difference in their lives…

…advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer, fighting for children’s health care as first lady, and for quality child care in the Senate.

And when she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned.

Hillary did not pack up and go home, because as a true public servant Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments.

So she proudly stepped up to serve our country once again as secretary of state, traveling the globe to keep our kids safe.

And look, there were plenty of moments when Hillary could have decided that this work was too hard, that the price of public service was too high, that she was tired of being picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs. But here’s the thing. What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.

And when I think about the kind of president that I want for my girls and all our children, that’s what I want.

I want someone with the proven strength to persevere, someone who knows this job and takes it seriously, someone who understands that the issues a president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.

Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and measured and well-informed.

I want a president with a record of public service, someone whose life’s work shows our children that we don’t chase form and fortune for ourselves, we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed.

And we give back even when we’re struggling ourselves because we know that there is always someone worse off. And there but for the grace of God go I.

I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters, a president who truly believes in the vision that our Founders put forth all those years ago that we are all created equal, each a beloved part of the great American story.

And when crisis hits, we don’t turn against each other. No, we listen to each other, we lean on each other, because we are always stronger together.

And I am here tonight because I know that that is the kind of president that Hillary Clinton will be. And that’s why in this election I’m with her.

You see, Hillary understands that the president is about one thing and one thing only, it’s about leaving something better for our kids. That’s how we’ve always moved this country forward, by all of us coming together on behalf of our children, folks who volunteer to coach that team, to teach that Sunday school class, because they know it takes a village.

Heroes of every color and creed who wear the uniform and risk their lives to keep passing down those blessings of liberty, police officers and the protesters in Dallas who all desperately want to keep our children safe.

People who lined up in Orlando to donate blood because it could have been their son, their daughter in that club.

Leaders like Tim Kaine…

…who show our kids what decency and devotion look like.

Leaders like Hillary Clinton who has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through, lifting all of us along with her.

That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.

And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.

And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.

So, look, so don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth!

And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise, a leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.

So in this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best. We cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical. No, hear me. Between now and November, we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago.

We need to knock on every door, we need to get out every vote, we need to pour every last ounce of our passion and our strength and our love for this country into electing Hillary Clinton as president of the United States of America!

So let’s get to work. Thank you all and God bless.