Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comedian, takes the edge off of the world and explains all those unexplained things in a way that will make you either laugh or cry.

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Just Breathe

I called my friend, Tim this morning around 7:30am and the number was busy. I waited another fifteen minutes, called and the phone rang and rang until the machine picked up. Knowing that Tim’s business is across the street from his abode, I called his office. The phone rang twice and one of his co-workers picked up.

“Is Tim there?”

“He’s meditating,” the co-worker responded the way a secretary might say, “he’s in a meeting.” I guess that makes sense. I know that Tim meditates three times a day. But it was the nonchalance and matter-of-factly of the person on the phone that got me. It was like he was almost saying, “of course he’s meditating. How do you start your day?”



I live in the very hip and self-actualized city of San Francisco. I am a writer and my girlfriend of twenty-five years, is a consultant to non-profits. We are constantly changing our lives for what we describe as, ‘For the Better.’

The Girlfriend recently quit her full-time job downtown in the Financial Center for the perceived freedom of working out of the home, the way I do.

She does yoga when she can and tries to takes walks or go running with one of her girlfriends four to five times a week.

In the last four or five years, and especially after seeing ‘Food, Inc.’ we’ve changed our eating habits to reflect a more awareness to what we’re putting in our bodies and have a better understanding where our food comes from. We buy local. We’re trying to go more whole wheat with all grains with the dream of giving up all grains except the real old standbys and go gluten-free.

We eat vegetarian three times a week and limit red meat to a couple times a month.

All in the name of living better…


I have another friend named Andy. I actually can count a total of three friends in my life, but would rather save that friend for another column.

Andy and I have known each other since we were three. We’re in our mid-fifties now. While I have been on some artistic path for my career and dreams, Andrew first followed his passion as a white-water guide. He settled in Seattle in the early Eighties, hoping to nothing more than take little duckies down the river for thrills, chills and tips. But one day he answered an ad for a young, upstart company that was opening in nearby Redmond. That when his career started with Microsoft.

After many years in Tech trade, Andy retired in his forties with his beautiful wife in San Diego.

Andy became bored. He turned his latest passion, piano playing into his newest gig. He became a piano-tuner supreme.

Now some four years later, Andrew is once again successful at something.

I jumped and cut corners, giving an unfair account of Andrew’s rise. He worked very hard and all that stuff to get where he is.

Andy always has been one of my heroes and a great inspiration for me.

 Andy meditates at the piano for three hours a day.



The director David Lynch has a foundation whose goal is to turn the world on to meditation. His business plan is to hit every avenue as possible. The Blue Velvet helmer brings his message to schools, churches and into war-zones and foreign countries, with the hopes of bringing opposites together through control breathing, meditation.

This may seem a little incongruous from the fellow that introduced us to Dennis Hopper’s nasty oxygen mask for a different kind of breathing. What can I say? The Duality of Man?


And here’s my point…

I meditated for five years. I was guided and tutored by one of the smartest and most compassionate man I ever met name David.

David eventually put me on the path of lucid dreaming. A more controlled meditation where one is guided and helped through the recesses of one’s mind by a spirit helper, in my case, David.

I eventually stopped meditating. I still use it when I can’t sleep or if I accidently take a hit of speed by mistake. Because of the years I spent learning how to block out the outside world and peer internally, I can basically sleep anywhere.

I know… it’s a gift.

So I wonder why aren’t we as a people, as a society, as a way to get better, why don’t we include meditation with everything. It really does make the world go around.


You may or may not agree with me, but I think one of the reasons everything happens, is because of judgments made out of fear. Snap judgments if you will. What the Warren Commission would call a ‘Rush to Judgment.’ Those reactions and decisions made while under the control of fear.

Why are we in Afghanistan and Iraq again? Oh yeah, to protect the Muslim people from the bad guys. Try to remind people that. The reason we’re at war, was to protect the Muslim locals from Osama and his dudes. We’re NOT there because of a knee-jerk reaction to being attacked on September 11th, 2001.

I think most voters, Republican and Teabags alike would agree that we fight our wars for others, not us. We are after all the World’s Policeman. Of course being the World’s baddest cop, gives us license to break protocol and history, attacking a country that posed no threat to our country. We broke the precedent of the unofficial rule of the block world that you can’t hit someone until they hit you first. Otherwise what you got? Those countries that are angry with each going around and giving the old surprise cold-cock right in the old delta or bomb the Casbah?

What happens if the World took a real big time out and we all meditated for five minutes? Just five minutes. Everyone!

Close your eyes and think about it. The whole wide world was in folded hands, breathing in, breathing out, trying to find the empty spaces. Imagine the ripple effect. Imagine if ten percent walked away as converts. Imagine enemies looking at each other differently after centuries of seeing the same image and fearful foe.


We can’t.

We’ve been in Afghanistan longer than the Russians were.

Sarah Palin could become President.

John Lennon would have been seventy now.


I should be meditating. We all should. But ironically, I fearful I don’t have the time.

Damn you phone guy for telling me Tim can’t be reached because he’s in Nirvana.







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