What is inspiration?

The theological definition of inspiration is “a special or immediate action or influence of the spirit of God (or of some divinity or supernatural being) upon the human mind or soul,” (OED).

I experience inspiration as something that is reaching out, compelling me to listen while at the same time encouraging me to find a means for expression.

 However, it is not entirely correct to say, “it reaches out to me,” because I have to actively work to receive it, to allow it into me, and to then discern what is actually being offered.

 To receive inspiration, I need to act upon “that which is seeking my attention.” In a very real sense, I have to give this inspiration a body so that it can then begin to live within me.

By |November 4th, 2016|Categories: Dr. Dukes' Musings|0 Comments

Fatherhood: It Finds us If We Show Up

The hardest job you’ll ever do comes without an operations manual. So, how do you proceed? When my son was an infant, I realized a key lesson: The best thing I could do for him was to simply show up, be there, and attune to him. I’ve shared more about this on the Good Men Project.

By |July 15th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

As Long As We Are Alive, We Are Fathers

As I’ve watched my son grow from infant to toddler, from teenager to adult, I’ve often reflected on fatherhood as an experience without end. In Buddhism, the idea of Long Enduring Mind suggests committing to something we cannot control or understand. Before I became a father, I lived in a world of choice, where change was always a breath away. When my son entered my life, I realized that no matter what happened, I would always be his father. My thoughts on this are up on The Good Men Project.

The Right Size for the Situation

I work with leaders and entrepreneurs from a variety of fields and disciplines. One key dynamic is the realization that the degree to which everyone is present directly impacts the outcomes we achieve. I’ve shared some advice on being the right size for the situation on evox.

A Gentle Courage

How do we live a life of joy and happiness in the face of adversity? It takes courage. It takes patience. It takes a person like my mother. Some thoughts on my mother’s embodiment of gentle courage are up on evox.

By |June 24th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

A God of Rock and Roll

The Greeks thought strangers could be gods or goddesses in disguise. Embracing the possibility (rather than succumbing to the burden) of meeting an unknown person can lead to something incredible. Once, I met a stranger who turned out to be a god.

By |June 17th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments


When I became a father, I learned a lesson that many new parents learn: Surrender does not mean defeat. I’ve shared my thoughts on the crossroads of surrender and acceptance on evox.

By |June 10th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Betwixt and Between

Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Look within as you begin to breathe in and out. Get a sense of yourself. Know that you cannot know what’s next. A meditation on embracing the betwixt and between on evox.

Taking a cue from children


East Oakland students co-author the first book by kids for kids on handling stress

Children can lead us into realms we have long forgotten or were never afforded the opportunity to cultivate. They recognize something in themselves, in the practice of mindfulness that is so compelling that it behooves all of us to listen. It is often through these young voices, the still moments and the quiet reflections that what is seeking our attention will soon emerge. This guidance is not something extraordinary, it is something quite natural: a willingness and ability to simply return to the moment and hear what it is that is seeking our attention. A thought, a feeling, a fun experience with a friend reminds us of something that we all know and  have perhaps forgotten. It is our children, in their innocence, who remind us that, fundamentally, we are all connected as one.


By |April 22nd, 2016|Categories: Leadership|0 Comments

A Moment’s Passage

Night LightWe know that all things come to an end. Imagine a happy moment with your child as she speaks to you of her excitement for her coming freshman year away at college. She swings in the hammock  in front of you and beams with joy, “I have worked so hard for this and now it is almost here.” You smile, your eyes meet; she has been seen, acknowledged. The phone rings, she answers it, the moment has passed. For all practical purposes that joyful moment is dead and now only lives on in your memory. This passage of life is simply part of a greater cycle. The phone call brings new life and new possibility. It is her friends calling, and they are stopping by later and plan to walk for ice cream. You turn, return to the house and begin the dishes.