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Gratitude for Oprah

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Oprah first called me a few years after The Seat of the Soul was published. I lived in a small mountain town, I didn’t have a TV, and the town cable didn’t offer ABC anyway, so I didn’t recognize her name when she called. We talked another time or two over the next seven or so years, but I was entrenched in the back country resolutely avoiding my responsibility to support people who, like me, had become aware of the enormous transformation of humanity that is underway. Oprah was one of them. She helped me change that in a big way.

From our first meeting I was touched by her warm and immediate presence, interest in me, and awesome capability to create and utilize global enterprises to lovingly support as well as entertain her ever-growing audience, of which I became a part. While recording The Oprah Winfrey Show, she planned and launched O Magazine. Excuse me, she would say after a meeting on our next show, I have to get to my night job. Then came Oxygen, a satellite radio channel, a girls school in South Africa, OWN, and many TV and film productions all contributing directly to the collective well-being. How many people do you know who use their creativity in such a focused way for the benefit of all?

I have been impressed by her courage as well as her compassion. I have watched, along with millions of viewers, as she brought adversaries together on the same show to search for the best that each have to share, and asked direct and probing questions to racial bigots without rancor or judgment.

She has shared things with me off-hand that helped reshape my perceptions dramatically. For example, when a national magazine clamored for an interview with me (a new experience for a back-country recluse), I called Oprah for an opinion. Is just cotton candy, Gary. It’s just cotton candy. Most people spend their lives grasping for this candy recognition, fame, wealth, the ability to impress, manipulate, and control. Oprah does not, and that may be what drew her so strongly to The Seat of the Soul. Whatever temptations she experiences, she does not allow fear to express itself in her creations. They are expressions of love instead. Since we know that everyone experiences fear, we know that Oprah’s continual gifts of love are also challenges to whatever fears come to torment and distract her from her chosen course.

This is what I am most grateful to Oprah for. Thank you Oprah, for all that you have helped me experience and accomplish and all the gifts that you have given me and our fellow students in the Earth school. Thank you for helping seed the idea of authentic power in the Earth school. It is a joy to be a student with you.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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SEE GARY AND OPRAH ON TV AGAIN – ANYTIME

SEE GARY AND OPRAH ON TV AGAIN – ANYTIME

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Here is a gift from Oprah and me – but first here is the backstory: In late fall 1998 one of Oprah’s producers called me – would I like to come to Chicago for a short interview with Oprah? Oprah and I had spoken by phone a few times over the previous years. The first time she called to say hello. I didn’t recognize her name because I didn’t watch TV, but that call put us on a journey together that we continue today. At the moment her producer invited me to Chicago, I felt like a surfer in the ocean. A perfect wave had arrived. I didn’t need to paddle to catch I and I didn’t need to wait for it. All I needed to do was stand up and ride. I had never surfed (I grew up in Kansas), but perhaps this image came to me because I love seeing surfers dance with waves. In any case, it was a very appropriate image.

Linda and I met Oprah for the first time in a small apartment near the Harpo studios. It was a wonderfully joyful encounter. We embraced, joined in a circle, set our intentions, and sat down to talk. There was no audience – just the two of us. At the end Oprah said excitedly to her Executive Producer, “I am going to give this interview to my audience as a Christmas gift.” She did. The show based on our intimate talk aired Christmas Eve afternoon, December 24, 1998.

Oprah told me soon after that my life would change, but I didn’t notice any changes at first. Then The Seat of the Soul came onto the New York Times Bestseller list. Oprah called again a few months later. “We are going to do another show on authentic power,” she told me. “Wonderful!” I replied, “I am looking forward to seeing it.” “No, Gary,” she laughed. “You are going to be ON it.” The show aired in April 1999. It was my first with an audience. The Seat of the Soul became Number One on the New York Times Bestseller list and stayed there three years. Oprah and I just recently discovered that I have been on The Oprah Winfrey Show more than any guest! This surprises and delights us both.

Our first show has now been re-broadcast on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and this time with powerful new comments by Oprah. It touches me now even more deeply than the original. It helps me experience how deeply we are all connected, not only Oprah and I, but all of us. Oprah has also archived this show on her website – something that was not possible when we recorded it.

I am grateful to share this anniversary of my entrance into the Earth school with you, and to honor you.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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25 YEARS OF THE SEAT OF THE SOUL

25 YEARS OF THE SEAT OF THE SOUL

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Twenty–five years ago I published a book that I did not know if anyone would read. My publisher had been waiting seven years for a sequel to my first book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. The manuscript I gave her was entirely different, but she published it anyway in Spring 1989. I called the new book The Seat of the Soul. This book immediately began to help people in meaningful ways, and in 1998 Oprah Winfrey and I cocreated a television show about it that aired on Christmas Eve afternoon. Almost everything changed for me after that. Oprah and I began doing audience shows the next Spring, and we did over thirty of them. Oprah needed to share The Seat of the Soul, too. This month the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Seat of the Soul was released.

I did not change the text of the original, but Oprah and Maya Angelou wrote remarkable prefaces for it, and I wrote a new foreword. The big change in the new edition, however, is the one that engaged me, transformed me, and liberated me in ways I could not have foreseen: the 85-page Study Guide in the back. The Study Guide helps you apply the principles in The Seat of the Soul to your everyday life in practical ways and to see more clearly the enormity of the context in which they are becoming visible – the expansion of everyone’s perception within a few generations beyond the limitations of the five senses. Each chapter in The Seat of the Soul has a corresponding Study Guide chapter. Each Study Guide chapter has opening paragraphs, questions, and different kinds of exercises. Before I began working on this Study Guide, I had not thought about explaining the principles in The Seat of the Soul this way. Once I began, I could not stop. Each chapter of the book became a surprising and deeply gratifying exploration for me.

I wanted the questions in the Study Guide to be meaningful, not intellectual, to draw from deeper places than thought, to elicit answers beyond words, to open new doorways. This required only an interest in supporting you, and that was deepest in my heart. The opening paragraphs, however, required me to dive deeply into chapters I had read many times before, clarifying everything that I felt might be unclear or need attention. I reread The Seat of the Soul four times. Just when I thought the Study Guide could not become more supportive, the idea occurred to me to add videos and audio meditations, and that required creating, in effect, a new website. Access to each page in this new website – which became the “Study Guide Extension” – is in the Study Guide at the back of the book. Now the whole thing is done – 25th Anniversary Edition with prefaces by Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou, Study Guide, and online Study Guide Extension. It is a joy to recommend them to you.

Some people might ask, “How could something written twenty-five years ago be engaging, much less liberating, to the person who wrote it? Understanding this requires understanding about inspiration, and how it comes from a source other than the mind. Before the mind can write anything, it needs to understand it in its own terms. All everyday writings are done in this way. But The Seat of the Soul is filled with things that do not present themselves in terms of the mind. They come from another place. That is why inspired people can not fathom with their minds the fullness of what they are writing, performing, and bringing into being as they are doing it. The mind can not fathom the fullness of inspired sharing because that kind of sharing comes from beyond the mind. They feel what they are sharing, express what they are sharing, and become what they are sharing, but they are not thinking about what they are sharing while they are sharing it. Thinking about it stops the process. Afterwards, the mind can recognize, appreciate, and revel in what inspiration has created. I have been recognizing, appreciating, and reveling in The Seat of the Soul for twenty-five years. Last year I began to see ways to help others do the same, and the result is the Study Guide and Study Guide Extension online in the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Seat of the Soul.

The publication of this new edition is so much more than the re-release of a classic book. It is an ongoing journey into love and nature of power – which are the same. I am grateful to share it with you.

Love,

Linda & Gary