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Now Available -- COMING TO: A BIOMYTHOGRAPHY -- This is something different. A memoir but not a narrative. Every chapter -- of twenty -- is a distinct literary form. It includes poetry, drama, essay, letters, journal notes, and more.
To order a copy ($14.95) click on the amazon link to the left.
David's writing in Coming To is a winged thing that flitters gently in the chest, soars assuredly across the mind's eye and fishes in the rivers of our varied lives to reveal the essence of humanity. Part collage, part anthology of one – his work is a multi-genre telling of a singular story that speaks to everyone listening without losing its way. Coming To is the closing and opening of a person – a body, a soul, a spirit, a mind – and all of the sharp angst and sweet revelation that entails. Savor and enjoy!
-- Elissa Perry, writer, artist, and co-editor of "Everything Indiactes: Bay Bridge Poems and Portraits"
I'm glad you stopped by. To start you off, here is a selection from Awakened Mind:
One of the near-death-experience truths is that each person integrates their near-death experience into their own pre-existing belief system --Jody Long, near-death researcher
When snatched from the jaws of death, tooth marks are to be expected.
--Hal Story, near-death experience
I was about ten years old and anxious to show the world that I could do things on my own. One Saturday evening that summer, my aging grandfather, who lived right across the street from us, realized he had run out of cigars and for whatever reason, I was dispatched on my bike, with many cautions for care and expedience from my mother, to travel the three-quarters of a mile to buy cigars. (In 1947 they believed you when you said, “They’re for my Grand-dad.”)
There was only one major street with a good deal of traffic that I had to cross on my way. I negotiated it with no problem on the outgoing journey. Coming back however, I almost got killed.
I don’t think this really qualifies as a “near-death” experience. That, I believe is reserved for those who literally come “that close” to heart stopping; even sometimes cross that boundary. But from that summer evening to this very day, my experience lives quite strongly in my mind.
As I began to cross the busy street, walking my bike out from between two parked cars, I was sure the way was clear and made a dash for it. The way was not clear and the stretch of brakes woke up the entire neighborhood. The car grazed the front tire of my bike. When the car came to a stop, I was looking directly at the driver through his open side window. He was glaring at me, hands tightly gripping the wheel. I looked away quickly, said “thank you” which I’m sure he didn’t hear, and ran the rest of the way across the street through all the stopped traffic.
In some way my young life had changed. I never told anyone what happened (even though my mother asked about the screeching brakes.) But I did “integrate” this experience “into my belief system” and I still feel the “tooth marks.”
Bring to mind the occasions in your life when you came closest to death.
How have you “integrated” them? Any tooth marks?
... to a Quiet Corner of the Web. The background image on this web page is a photograph of a nebula from outer space, the result of gasses escaping from a dying star. I chose it because such images of space as seen through the telescopic camera can help give us earth-dwellers a sense of perspective which, when transformed into a practical expression, give us what I especially need, patience. DK
You can reach the site with either one: DavidKundtz.com or Stopping.com.
The ideas involved in Stopping still embody much of what I believe and try to practice.
At this site...
... you can browse the books (click "Books" above) by reading reviews and a few excerpts, learn some biographical information ("About"), and by clicking "Art" you might find some of my forays into the world of art.
...you can also order any of the books on amazon.com. Clicking the title at the bottom of the right column will take you to the amazon link.
Thanks for your visit. I warmly welcome feedback and commentary from site visitors -- about the books, the web site, or any ideas that they might stir in you. My email is at the bottom of the column just to the right.
A Brief Review of Awakened Mind
Sitting in the sun relaxing, I found myself reaching for David's book and finding so much insight into my Self. I've gotten into the habit of opening this book every day - randomly - so a new 'wake-up' call is gifted to my consciousness.
This book isn't about sleeping through life, it's about waking up to it! As David shares in his preface there is a difference between simple innocence and terrible innocence. The latter is when you know that what you are doing or what is happening is wrong but choose to turn a blind eye regardless.
These little wake up calls assist us to participate more fully in our day. I bet there isn't a person around who could honestly not find a handful of David's insights applicable to their own life.
This book is about sharing very short messages with the reader. Each one is two pages long, a very quick read but don't let that fool you. The depth of these messages can be very cutting—right to the soul.
My personal favourite? I honestly don't have one as every time I open this book, I find exactly what I need to hear. That is my favourite thing about 'Awakened Mind' - exactly what I need to hear/learn/experience within that perfect moment.
Final-Listed for Book of the Year: Moments In Between
When it was published in 2006, Moments in Between, was final-listed for ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award in the category of Self-help. Here’s a review of the book from amazon.com:
A lot of books we buy as gifts fit that person's hobby or special interest, like flowers, cars, mountains, music, etc.
Moments in Between is a gift book you must give to yourself first--then think of others who could benefit from the message.
I found the content filling me up with spectacular photos to mark the chapters and the pointed and appropriate quotes to enhance the message in the well-thought-out prose.
The message is about time--that in-between space we think of as insignificant, when compared to the big events--spaces that are very important.
The author says, "The quiet moments--rests--in your day make your whole day sound well."
If you are like me, you have trouble "doing nothing." I don't mean vegging out in front of the TV either. Now I know that doing nothing means stopping, looking, feeling, sensing, taking in whatever is in that quiet time. Maybe it's a "blue moon" or any awe-inspiring full moon. Maybe it's a bird's song. Maybe it's a smile from a loved one, or a stranger.
The book's wise stories, et. al,, are a retreat that allows us to be restored. Through the message you will find new ways to deal with life and learn how to pay closer attention to the big moment--and the tiny flash of brilliance we often overlook.
"What is life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare." -- W.H. Davies. Armchair Interviews agrees.
Recent Comments About Stopping
Kundtz's radical self-help book says that the best thing to do to improve one's life is nothing. Yup, nothing--just stopping awhile and seeing what happens. Therapist and priest Kundtz contends that many today suffer from living on "the mountain of too much." They have tried to deal with overloaded lives very typically, cramming more into each hour and cutting back on some things. Trouble is, they have reached the point where they can't cram more into the little time they have, and they are cutting out pleasurable things (lunch, friends, holidays) to try to accommodate crowded schedules.
Kundtz then offers three kinds of stopping: "stillpoints" (little pauses), "stopovers" (longer times of stillness), and "grinding halts" (life-changing periods of stasis). Written in pithy, short chapters--his audience is the overscheduled, after all; they don't have time to read for long--the book is a good, commonsense adviser on a pervasive problem. --The Rev. John S. Livingston, UCC
This is a straightforward but profound book on cultivating pauses in our lives to enrich our lives and ultimately improve the quality of our existence. It seeks to maximize "the beats in between the notes" as moments to cherish. In a rush/rush world that seems to have ADD, the suggestions of author David Kundtz resonate. It offers excellent suggestions to "sharpening the saw" by incorporating tiny, medium-sized or extended pause points in our lives to step back, take stock and get ourselves centered. A wonderful book that merits multiple readings! --from a review on amazon.com
A Recent Comment About Nothing's Wrong
A pioneer in the sphere of men's mental health In the popular book Nothing's Wrong: A Man's Guide to Managing His Feelings, dynamic author and speaker David Kundtz sheds light on three steps men can take to achieve emotional fitness. Written exclusively for male audiences, Kundtz's entertaining journey through "Feelings 101" encourages men to be comfortable with experiencing, identifying and expressing emotions. --from comments on Hazeldon Books Web site: hazelden.org
A Recent Comment About Quiet Mind
David Kundtz offers a soothing, experienced and wise helping hand to readers in desperate need of a break! More than just a meditation book, Quiet Mind is a wonderful series of reflections that can illuminate every aspect of life. These reflections invite you to do nothing, but with purpose, meaning and value in order to become more fully awake and to remember who you are.
-- from a review on Alibris.com
Here are a few quotes that express some of the ideas I explore in my writing:
Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity. --John Hume
Americans are both deeply religious and profoundly ignorant about religion. --Stephen Prothero
Why should one imagine that when there is a problem there is always a solution? --Terry Eagleton
Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival. --Rene Dubos
There is a strange kind of tragic enigma associated with the problem of racism. No one, or almost no one, wishes to see themselves as racist; still racism persists, real and tenacious. --Albert Memmi
As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of of the darkness. --Justice William O. Douglas
There is a powerful craving in most of us to see ourselves as instruments in the hands of others and thus free ourselves from the responsibility for acts which are prompted by our own questionable inclinations and impulses. -- Eric Hoffer
The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause. -- Eric Hoffer
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -- Bertrand Russell
Family isn't about whose blood you have. It's about who you care about. -- Trey Parker and Matt Stone
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. --Jonathan Swift
Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace. --Oscar Wilde
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. --Franz Kafka
A person buying products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions. --John Kenneth Galbraith
Not to transmit an experience is to betray it. --Elie Wiesel
The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them. --Alfred Hitchcock
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is in you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. --Jesus, Gospel of Thomas
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. --Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung. --Rabindranath Tagore
I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the...fear which is inherent in the human situation. --Graham Greene
To be enlightened is simply to be absolutely, unconditionally intimate with this moment. No more. No less. --Scott Morrison
Someone sold us out -- but only when we ceased to pay attention. --Timothy Findley (The telling of Lies)
If you are what you do, when you don't you aren't. -- William J. Byron
The only thing that keeps us from floating off with the wind is our stories. They give us a name and put us in a place, allow us to keep on touching. --Tom Spanbauer
Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
--T.S.Eliot (The Four Quartets)
If I hazard a guess as to the most endemic, prevalent anxiety among human beings -- including the fear of death, abandonment, loneliness -- nothing is more prevalent than the fear of one another. --R.D. Laing
There's nothing very mysterious about free will. You do what you want to do, and you don't do what you don't want to do. --Rebbe Nachman
The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence. --Marianne Moore
Beyond living and dreaming
there is something more important: waking up. --Antonio Machado
When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion. -- Abraham Lincoln