Richard Dama, LPC, Counseling & Clinical Hypnotherapy

Mail Call

Welcome back.

First of all, thank you for all the Facebook and website likes and shares; we’re not where we were when we went on sabbatical, but we are steadily growing once again. For your continued support and interest, I am deeply humbled and thankful.

We’ve only been back up for two weeks and we’re already getting mail. This is fantastic! I love questions, comments and suggestions, so thank you and please keep them coming.

Today I’d like to open the bag and have a group Mail Call like we used to do in the field. Here are some of your recent questions and my best efforts at answering them:

Did your Dad really coach you to be a better delinquent?

First of all, you’re talking to someone who deals with and treats delinquents for a living. I can tell you that my group and I were never delinquent – had criminal intentions behind our actions – we were however, young, reckless, hormone fueled, and though we were immortal…we were stupid kids.

What he did do was coach me on my sloppy thinking and (here I think he was intuitively way ahead of his time and the research) help me understand that there are always consequences for every action. He was an engineer, so physics was always a part of our lives and “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” was almost a family rallying cry.

I think he understood that the adolescent brain is undergoing a massive rewiring process which lasts until about age 25. He knew that adolescents don’t have a clear understanding of the possible consequences of their actions (hard fact backed by scores of peer-reviewed empirical studies). I believe his goal was to get me to see that it was my sloppy thinking/planning that was getting me caught.

What my Dad did do was, he helped me define a process of reasoning and then, through debriefing real-world fuck-ups he would help me dissect my thinking and see where my train went off the tracks and then brainstorm and evaluate alternative courses of action. Then carry that skill forward into future situations, better equipped to outthink the opposition.

So, in answer to your question, “Yes. Yes he did.”

Glad to see the blogs are back, but get off the religion thing.

I think that you’re confusing ‘Religion’ with ‘Spirituality.’ Two completely different things.

I do not, and have never advocated, endorsed, praised or criticized any religion in these blogs. As a rule, I avoid the topic of religion at all costs.

What I am doing is trying to get you to realize that you are infinitely more than you know. I’m trying to get you to realize that you are not a body with a mind, you are a mind with a body. Huge difference!!

I have a Ph.D. in Religion and I cannot think of any religion that would argue with or find the above statements offensive.

I do advocate meditation and introspection as a way of becoming more mindful of yourself and your environment, building and maintaining a place of inner peace and sanctuary, and to open yourself up to being fully aware of your existence.

Speaking as Dr. Dama again, every major religion past and present has a deep tradition and strong advocacy of meditation – they call it prayer and contemplation. To paraphrase St. Thomas Aquinas, ‘Prayer is when we talk to God. Meditation is when we listen for the answer.’

Finally, as either a path to fully realizing the Self, or simply to be a decent human being, I teach and practice Acceptance, Kindness, and Compassion. I defy you to name a religion that has a problem with any of those.

Why did you go from military officer to pacifist?

WOAH! Back the Clue Train up! I am not, never have been and cannot ever foresee myself as a pacifist.

The fact that I believe in and strive to live a life of Acceptance, Kindness and Compassion does not mean that I’m willing to be a martyr or a doormat, and neither do I believe should you.

The World is as it is, and cannot possibly be any other way at this moment. The World is an increasingly dangerous place. I believe that by being compassionate and at peace within, we can have an enormous impact on the world around us. BUT, I also believe that the use of violence is acceptable and sometimes, even necessary to preserve your life or the lives of others, especially Innocents.

I rarely make this statement in public but, I carry love and compassion in my heart and a Glock 23, Gen 4 (.40 S&W) on my right hip. And you know what? Sometimes the only teacher for some people is a good, old-fashion ass-whoop’n (or a 9mm). Guaranteed to enlighten the soul.

Pacifist my ass!

Well Gang, that’s it for now. There were a few others but, either their suggestions were anatomically impossible or were variations of the above. Thanks for the feedback and keep it coming!

Hoping you have and intentionally great and compassionate (but take not shit) day.

Rich

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