My Mt. Everest | December 2008 Newsletter

My Mount Everest: December, 2008
Merle M. Singer, Founder

Book Recommendation:
by Malcolm Gladwell.

My summary: All other things being equal (which they are not), practice, practice, practice – again.


The last My Mount Everest newsletter edition that I published was in May 2008. Wow, and now it’s the end of December 2008.
A lot has happened – at least internally. Boy, I read that May newsletter; it was filled with angst. I may not have written newsletters for six months, but my brain has been busy.

Nathan and I just spent a weekend in Esalen. We each took a different class.

I took “Advanced Yogafor the Perfect Beginner” by Mark Whitwell ( ). His form of yoga practice emphasizes breathing and the breath leading the movement. The asanas/positions were possible for the least conditioned, flexible male.

Seven minutes a day; Mark wriggled a commitment from each of us.

Really he said a most interesting thing that I hadn’t yet expressed quite like that. He said that there is no enlightenment to reach for. We are already in our enlightened state. Whatever it is that we are searching for, we already have/are.

Seven minutes a day of controlled breathing and a few specific postures/asanas will simply remind us that we are already everything. There’s nothing to look for, nothing to attain, nothing to acquire. We have looked nirvana in the eye (third eye, of course) and it is we.

No Need to Search

I know so many people on a quest based on a self-judgment that they are not enough.

India is filled with Westerners believing that what is foreign is exotic and what is exotic is more authentic.

I have always had a bit of a suspicious nature in terms of who to follow and who has possession of the “truth.”

During the sixties when flower children proclaimed their independence from society, they strictly adhered to their own particular code of dress and conduct. I observed that they weren’t independent; they simply exchanged one set of rules for another.

Mark decries any intermediary – i.e. the church, the clergy – be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist. There should be no guru/teacher/religious leader (himself included) between you and your enlightenment, if there is such a thing as enlightenment. He calls that use of an intermediary a “duality.”

Those seven minutes of yoga “practice” is an opportunity to revisit and honor your own personal reality. Note that practice is not “to get better;” there is no “get-better.” We are already perfect.

I’ve taken classes with Ratziel Bander, a wonderful being, in Hsin Tao ( or ),and he says much the same thing. only using a different set of words and a somewhat different practice.

I myself have been raised with a mother who pushed us for perfection – I think simply for the bragging rights. But I love the “doing,” not judging. It’s like reveling in my imperfection; it’s wagging my finger back at my mom.

I now see myself as the perfect toddler, always learning to walk, being reminded that it’s one step at a time, with falling down as a natural part of the process until you begin to master it well enough.
Two Great Minds Think Alike, Even Coming From Different Perspective

Anyway, it was serendipitous that I took this class with this teacher with this philosophy.

“Why?” you ask. Okay, I’ll tell you.

You see, in the past month (no more than two), I have light-bulbed. I finally figured out how I want to make my unique contribution. It will probably make you laugh and hopefully also see it’s genius.

I’m writing a book, tentatively called “Imperfect Spouse.”

I’ve already reserved the Website: (The site is still in its “imperfect” state, having just been put up, but you can already subscribe to the e-mail list for it. Please do!)

It seems such a natural choice for me, when you think of it. The one thing that I’m an expert about is how to be happily married for 41 years. (Yes, I have to say it: I was married when I was one years old – I was a very mature infant.) My expertise comes directly from my experience, and I’m excited that I’ll be able to share it in this way.

Let’s Not Hide From Our Imperfection We Are Perfect With It

Of course, my message is that in one sense we are all “imperfect spouses” – but our spouses are especially imperfect (ha ha).

Really, however, we are all perfect beings that do our living to the full extent of our current knowledge.

As our knowledge (mental, emotional, and psychological) increases, our living/loving/communication skills improve.

We are just like a toddler learning to walk; that’s the perfection of learning. I keep that picture in my mind to remind me how to gain skill without doing it to escape inferiority and my mother’s wagging finger.

In the meantime we may make judgments about ourselves and our spouses/significant others. I don’t recommend making judgments; I can’t always transcend them.


"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
– E. M. Forster, Writer

I have lots to say about how to climb out of the “blame” pit, up the shaky “justification” rope ladder, into the cool clean air of “personal responsibility.”
So many of our issues are about unreal expectations and fear-based control issues.

It was fun to have a discussion about perfection versus imperfection with Mark. We concluded that we are each looking at the other side of the same coin.



It’s the end of the year. Just this discovery of my direction is huge and exciting.

Nathan’s happy too; he has become an expert by association. Since he’s the other member of this perfect imperfect relationship, he has opinions – and I actually listen. Boy, have I changed, too.

Please visit my site and opt in to that e-mail list right now, because my major energy will be there, and it will be very interesting. Plus, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and critiques on an ongoing basis, since I have a particular place for you in my heart as one of the first people who honored me by reading my rantings associated with “My Mount Everest” from the very beginning (or thereabouts).

Also, check out We’re getting to re-launch the program in January, with interviews, teleseminars, an up-to-date blog, an interactive community forum, and new educational products and programs. Make sure to subscribe to the mailing list there, too, since MyMtEverest, Imperfect Spouse and Making Love Simply Divine are three distinct programs, independent of one another.


Happy, Happy Holidays. Happy, Happy New Year.
I wish you a 2009 that is fabulous for you.