Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. Articles and resource links have been relocated to the top. His family hopes you might find them helpful. But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.


Articles by Dr. Friedman
Video and Audio Clips
Annotated Resource Links
Psychology Professionals

Dr. Will’s Perspective on Practicing Psychology:

Dr. Friedman's Practice
Dr. Friedman's Approach
Therapeutic Purposes
Credentials | Experience
Brochures | Interview
Events and Workshops

Website Disclaimer


Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)

Categorized by Process | Topic

From His Book | Meditations For Life | The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation | Transpersonal/Mind-Body | Approaches, Worldview and Will-isms

Skills For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | Feeling, Thought, Communication & Action

Strategies/Distinctions For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | The Way It Is

Holiday Family Gatherings | Cartoons, Jokes and Humor | Poems and Quotes | Song Lyrics, Wit and Wisdom

Poems and Quotes

Poetry For Life 1

The soul demands soaring. It doesn't matter who does it.

—e. e. cummings

I thank you God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping green spirits of trees and a blue dream of sky;
and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.

—e. e. cummings

Arriving at Your Own Door

The time will come
when with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

—Derek Walcott, Love after Love


I am a light that God shines through.

I am a light that God shines through.
He and I are one not two.

I need not fear nor doubt nor plan.
He needs me now and as I am.

So if I stay RELAXED and FREE
God will carry out his plan for me.

—Jake Steven's Norwegian Great Grandmother's prayer


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of Go
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that
other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love
[Sometimes falsely attributed to Nelson Mandela]


There is a field
Out beyond ideas of
wrongdoing?and rightdoing
there is a field.?
I'll meet you there.?
When the soul lies down in that grass?
the world is too full to talk about.


Follow your bliss

The divine manifestation is ubiquitous,
Only our eyes are not open to it. . .
Awe is what moves us forward. . .

Live from your own center. . .
The divine lives within you.
The separateness apparent in the world is secondary.
Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen,
but experienced, unity and identity in us all.

Today the planet is the only proper "in group."
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.

You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
The return is seeing the radiance is everywhere.
The world is a match for us.
We are a match for the world.
The spirit is the bouquet of nature. . .

Sanctify the place you are in.
Follow your bliss. . .

—Joseph Campbell


oneness with God

A fish cannot drown in water,
A bird does not fall in air.
In the fire of creation,
God doesn't vanish:
The fire brightens.
Each creature God made
must live in its own true nature;
How could I resist my nature,
That lives for oneness with God?

—By Mechthild of Magdeburg (1207-1297)
English version by Jane Hirshfield


I am a lover of truth.
Even if she
Appears old
And ugly

Even when she hurts
And scorns
And nags.

Her arrows
And strikes
Are thousands times sweeter
Than hottest kisses
Of the most delightful

—Yosy A. Flug


George Demont Otis     Near Tiburaon (Pastel)


The hidden splendor is right here, right now,
all wounds, complaints, can be dropped right here right now,
and we can allow ourselves to let go into the vastness of existence right now,
nothing to do, but totally enjoy just this. . .
no complaints, no past,
die to what is
just the stillness of eternity, right here right now,
no you or me,
this total vastness is home,
we are the milky ways of existence..

—Gary Nixon



If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master,
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!

—Rudyard Kipling



Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond's glint on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripening grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awake in the morning's rush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

—Author Unknown


This is now.
Now is, all there is.

Don't wait for Then.
Strike the spark, light the fire.

Sit at the Beloved's table.
Feast with gusto, drink your fill.

Then dance
The way branches of jasmine and
cypress dance in a spring wind.

The green earth is your cloth.
Tailor your robe with dignity and grace.



real faith
is what remains
when all beliefs
are lost.

substitutes for knowing,
like a scaffolding
which is dismounted
once the job is done;
so are beliefs abandoned
when experience


in the presence
of the real
no faith
nor faithful

true knowing
and being
is ever

—Yosy A. Flug


truth is too simple for words
before thoughts get tangled up in nouns and verbs
there is a wordless sound
a deep breathless sigh
of overwhelming relief
to find the end of fiction
in this ordinary
yet extraordinary moment
when words are recognized
as words
and truth is recognized
as everything else



We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

—T. S. Eliot, "Little Gidding," Four Quartets


I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.

—William Blake, A Poison Tree


In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess,
You must go by way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not,
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not."

—T. S. Eliot



accepting whatever arises
even tempered always
regardless of circumstances

without goals to achieve,
desires to satisfy,
or wishes to fulfill -
such is a man of knowledge
free from attraction and from fear.

liberated from self identity
unaffected by passing thoughts -
such one, anchored in equanimity,
reposes ever in perfect composure.

—Yosy A. Flug


Comes the Dawn (After A While)

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul;
And you learn that love doesn't mean contracts
And presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With the grace of a woman,
not the grief of a child
And learn to build all your roads
on today because tomorrow's ground
is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even
sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and
decorate your own soul, instead of waiting
for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure. . .
That you really are strong
and you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn. . .
With every goodbye you learn.

—Veronica A. Shoffstall (written at age 17 1/2)


Sermons We See

I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear;
Fine council is confusing, but example's always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true;
But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do.
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me,
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that I can be.
And all the travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells you, but the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
for right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.

—Edgar A. Guest



Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember
what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

"Desiderata" (Latin for "desired things", plural of desideratum) is an inspirational prose poem about attaining happiness in life. It begins: Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.[1] Max Ehrmann first copyrighted it in 1927, but it was widely circulated in the 1960s without attribution to him. This copyright was renewed in 1954 by Bertha Ehrmann.


The Gestalt Prayer

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.

—Fritz Perls, 1969


Prayer of Protection

The Light of God surrounds Us
The Love of God enfolds Us
The Power of God protects Us and
The Presence of God watches over Us
Where ever we are God is!
And all is well!

—James Dillet Freeman

The power of God is within me,
the grace of God surrounds me.

—Ram Dass


George Demont Otis     Autumnal


Seeds are the Ticket to Ride

I think we would all do well,
to quiet and listen better. . .
We're too ready to do.
Too much do and not enough listen.
We misuse the mind.

We create fear and greed, worry, apprehension,
…then believe it,
then project that on the screen,
then attack the screen!

…Better to change the film…Our mind. Thoughts. Beliefs.

There's nothing wrong with the world.
Our perceptions need to be healed.
We think we live a life
We think there's somebody who lives a life. . .
there isn't.

Life lives itself. One Life living. We get to experience it.
They give you a body when you come into life.
We think life is the body.
It isn't.
The body's just the ticket to ride.

It's the vehicle.
Life was there before the body,
and will be after.
Bodies come and go,
Life is infinite.

When you ride a car across the land. . .
The car isn't the land. . .
It's the vehicle through the land.

When you ride a body through life. . .
The body isn't the life,
it's the vehicle, through the life.

We've got the vehicle confused with the life.
And this is the basis of many seeming problems.
Life Lives.
It's an ongoing continuum. Bodies come in. Bodies go out.
Life doesn't die.
Vehicles die.
Bodies die.
Bodies come in.
Bodies go out.
Life Lives.
You are not a body.
The body is the container for what you are,
while you're here.

When the container goes,
your membership in life
just takes another form.
Life absorbs the living back unto itself,
And spits off dead bodies.

You don't need a body to be among the living.
Your very essence is the living.
Timeless. Infinite. Perfect.
Undying. Unchanging. Beyond Cause.

That is the One Life that Lives.
The body is a seed of God.
Seeds come.
Seeds sprout.
Seeds flower,
Seeds die.
More seeds come.

Seeds are the tickets to ride.
There's one life behind them all.
One Life, that the seeds grant us entry to.
Seeds are the vehicles, into and through life.
Body seeds. They're like Passports. . .
Entry visas.

We came in and out of life before,
We come in and out of life again. . .
Loop-de-loops on the roller-coaster,
into the tunnel, through the tunnel, out of the tunnel.
One Life Living.
Lotsa different little tickets in and out.
One Life Living.
Lotsa different little tickets in and out.
One Life Living.
All of us.

Who lives a life?
What is a life?
But an initiation…into Forever
A Night of Passage…into Existence, A Birth.
A Life…is a Birth.
A Death…is the end of a Birth!
Basic Training. Preparation.

And we only complete a life when we're lived through a death;
and we live through a death, by knowing there is no death.
What we really are can't die.

We're not a body.

Bodies come and go.
And things that come and go…will pass.

—Tony Basilio


definitions, borders, rules. . .
they confine, restrict, direct.
but the wind
knows nothing
of this
and the sky
cannot be bound.
if you trap the wind

ya yosy,
let your spirit

this moment
is one
with the ocean
of time.


—Yosy A. Flug


Now is the Time For Turning

To everything there is a season,
And there is an appointed time for every purpose
Under heaven.

Now is the time for turning.

The leaves are beginning to turn from green to red and orange.
The birds are beginning to turn and are heading once more towards the South.
The animals are beginning to turn to storing their food for the winter.

For leaves, birds, and animals, turning comes instinctively.
But for us turning does not come so easily.
It takes an act of will for us to make a turn.

It means breaking with old habits.
It means admitting that we have been wrong.
And this is never easy.

It means losing face.
It means starting all over again.
And this is always painful.

It means saying: "I'm sorry."
It means admitting that we have the ability to change.
And this is always embarrassing.

These things are terribly hard to do.
But unless we turn, we will be trapped forever
In yesterday's ways.



Turn us around O Lord, and bring us back towards You.
Revive our lives, as at the beginning.

And turn us towards each other, Lord,
For in insulation, there is no life.

—Jack Riemer


Press On

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

—Calvin Coolidge



I had a little worry once that came to live with me,
     but why I ever let him in is more than I can see.
He used to jump around my mind through almost every day,
     and every time I tried to think I found him in my way.
He delighted to upset me, and he could always bring
     so much unhappiness that I was bored with everything.
I let him be my guest until the little urgent elf
     thought he had more control of me than I had of myself
That was when I let him know that he would have to scoot.
     I declared my independence then and let him have the boot.

—John D. Engle, Jr.


O Lord, truly, Your grace is not from our work,
but from your mysterious giving.
Save us from what our own hands might do;
lift the veil, but do not tear it.
Save us from the ego; its knife has reached our bones.

Let us turn from ourselves to You
Who are nearer to us than ourselves.
Even this prayer is Your gift to us.
How else has a rose garden grown from these ashes?

—Rumi, Mathnawi II: 2443-2449,
version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, Rumi: Daylight


The Serenity Prayer (Complete)

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

—Reinhold Niebuhr


The Senility Prayer

God, grant me the Senility
to forget the people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.

—Author Unknown


George Demont Otis     Spring Sleepy Hollow



Home | Dedication/Orientation | Articles by Dr. Friedman | Video and Audio Clips | Annotated Resource Links | Psychology Professionals

Dr. Will’s Perspective on Practicing Psychology: Dr. Friedman's Practice | Dr. Friedman's Approach | Therapeutic Purposes | Credentials | Experience | Brochures | Interview | Events and Workshops | Website Disclaimer | Contact