How to be Happy Even When You Are Sad, Mad or Scared:

How to be happy...How to be Happy Even When You Are Sad, Mad or Scared is available on It is a book for children of all ages (including those in adult bodies). Buy it for the children in your life so they can be better able to “feel and deal” - feel and accept their emotions and deal with them in a way that avoids being driven by them. You can order the book at
Religion - Overcome Blind Belief continued ...
That set me to thinking - how do we learn ethics, spirituality and mystical reality; how are best practices and psycho/physical methods like yoga and chi kung passed down from generation to generation, teacher to student? 
Religion has been a vehicle for enabling transition from the egotistical to the spiritual; from ignorance to wisdom. Religions have also been a source of blind belief, division, hatred and pain.
Religions have become distorted expressions of the values they adhere to. For example, religions have sponsored torture and war against heretics to save souls. Religions have condoned slavery. True believers have turned a blind eye to tyrants to protect their religious institutions and beliefs.
We do not have go back into history to see this phenomenon. Right now, Hindus persecute Muslims, Muslims persecute Christian's, Jews, and non-believers, including other Muslims. Jews persecute Palestinians. Christians persecute homosexuals and some spew hatred against those who do not believe in the prescribed way, thinking that only true believers will be saved.
Yet, religions teach devotion and wisdom founded on values like love and compassion (at least for fellow believers.) Religious practices help us go beyond intellect to taste open heartedness and joy through ritual, song, prayer, stories and movement.
Secular Religions
To make matters more complex, there are secular religions, for example capitalism, nationalism, communism, secularism, and just about anything else that  ism is added on to. In the project management field, there are religious adherents to Agile. In psychology there are believers in cognitive behavioral and others in object relational approaches.
It seems that anytime there is a good approach to anything someone will make it into a religion and create an either-or attitude regarding it - either you are for it or you are damned. Then they gather true believers who write, talk and rant about it, rejecting anything that threatens the orthodoxy.
Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater
How does one keep from falling into blind belief and either-or thinking while exposing oneself to the felt sense of devotion that opens the heart and to effective methods that contribute to optimal performance, self-awareness and mystical experience?
I'm told the Unitarian Universalists have a clever method. They expose children to multiple religions and have them create their own personal credo to present to the community. The community and its thought leadership guide and critique the credo, but in the end it is the individual that decides.
Adults who are not satisfied with their birth religions have taken a similar approach - exploring different methods and beliefs, borrowing from each and crafting a path for themselves. Others have found the inner teachings of their religions to follow a path led by authentic teachers who seek to free the individual from blind belief so they can best achieve their goals.
"Imagine No Religion"
The Dalai Lama said, "My religion is kindness." He is also quoted as saying that "The very purpose of religion is to control oneself, not to criticize others" and "Love and compassion are the true religions to me. But to develop this, we do not need to believe in any religion."
Imagine! A religious leader saying that there is no need for any religious belief to develop love and compassion.
Open Minded Faith
Open mindedness is the opposite of blind belief. It is being able to question one's most cherished beliefs to test them against experience. If that is not part of one's religion, then what does that say about the religion and its followers?
Open-minded approaches are pretty scary to those convinced that their way is the only way. Even though open-minded assessment is a great test of the effectiveness of beliefs and methods, many people are disturbed by uncertainty. 
Open mindedness doesn’t do away with faith. There is a need for faith - confidence that supports the objective testing of a belief. For example, one must have confidence that adhering to a practice or performing a ritual will bring about a desired result over time. Without such faith, one could not effectively perform the practice long enough to see if it works.
Buyer Beware
So, caveat emptor - buyer beware.
Test beliefs. Are they true? Does following your beliefs get the results you want, whether the results are an ever-increasing felt sense of joy, love and compassion or simply living well? Or, do your beliefs support separateness and division?
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded:  questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty. 
Mindful: consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.
By George Pitagorsky

Success is measured in how well and how regularly you meet expectations. But what exactly are expectations, and how do you effectively manage them when multiple priorities and personalities are involved?
Using the case study of a Project Manager coordinating an organizational transition, this Managing Expectations book explores how to apply a mindful, compassionate, and practical approach to satisfying expectations in any situation. George Pitagorsky describes how to make sure expectations are rational, mutually understood, and accepted by all those with a stake in the project. This process relies on blending a crisp analytical approach with the interpersonal skills needed to negotiate win-win understandings of what is supposed to be delivered, by when, for how much, by who, and under what conditions.

Managing Conflict in Projects
By George Pitagorsky

Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results by George Pitagorsky charts a course for identifying and dealing with conflict in a project context.

Pitagorsky states up front that conflict management is not a cookbook solution to disagreement-a set of prescribed actions to be applied in all situations. His overall approach seeks to balance two aspects of conflict management: analysis based on a codified process and people-centered behavioral skills.

The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.
The  Zen  Approach to Project Management 
By George Pitagorsky

Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are far too many conflicts. There are too few moments of joy and too much anxiety. But there is hope. It is possible to remove the unnecessary stress and complexity. This book is about how to do just that. It links the essential principles and techniques of managing projects to a "wisdom" approach for working with complex, people-based activities.