Ron Scolastico, Ph.D., 1938-2013

It is with deep sorrow that I must report that my husband and best friend of 30 years, Ron Scolastico, left us on September 9, 2013. If you are interested, I began journaling on two weeks before his death. You must Ron Scolasticoregister at CaringBridge with a name and email, and search for Ron Scolastico there.

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Inspiration from the L.A. Times

celebrating 28 happy yearsThere were two articles in the Los Angeles Times in May that particularly inspired me. (Ron and I still get the printed version and read it with our coffee every morning—a morning ritual we enjoy.) 

The first: Last month in the Study Group Newsletter I wrote about fretting about the consequences of aging. Appropriately, the universe provided me with an insight in the form of an obituary in the Los Angeles Times. “Renowned psychologist worked till 103!” Hedda Bolgar treated patients until a few weeks before she died. (Google her name and you can read her full obituary. She was a fascinating woman.) The statement said about her in the article that I most loved was, “She could infuse people with optimism.” When asked what time of her life she liked best, Hedda replied, “now.” She was a testament to the power of now!

The second: There was an Op-Ed piece in May called “Buying Happiness: want contentment? Try taking a good hard look at how you spend your money,” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. (Again, Google to read the whole article.) Their conclusion about money is that “How we use our money may matter as much or more than how much of it we’ve got.” Buying experiences for both yourself and others can lead to the greatest happiness. They use the example of sharing a cup of coffee with someone, rather than just giving them a gift card for a coffee, created the most happiness and satisfaction.

            In the opening of the Study Group Reading, this month, the Guides speak about the joy of sharing your being with other humans:

“We are showing you, first, the importance of achieving the joy and the fullness of integrating your intense self experience of your own thoughts, feelings, desires, interests—all of that—and then the importance of integrating that with other humans and creating the great joy of sharing your being with other humans.

Ron and I celebrated 28 happy years together on May 30, and we are looking forward to many more!

The Magic of Creativity and The Healing Power of Joy are the newest books by the Guides. They present powerful readings given at “The Annual Spiritual Retreat With The Guides.” One reader of these books said, “I really enjoy how the Guides answered questions asked by the participants at the Retreat,” These books are available as paperbacks from us, or digitally on Amazon for the Kindle app.

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Grief and Recovery

Our family joins the world in mourning the tragic loss of the lives of 27 people in Newtown, candleConnecticut, and the loss of innocence of not only the children at Sandy Hook elementary school, but everywhere. There are no words of comfort in this moment that can take away the pain of losing one’s child or loved one. It is too raw and immediate. But in time, the goodness of people loving and caring for one another will prevail and shine through the tears. After the grief subsides will be the perfect time to take action in the ways that are meaningful to you, that will honor these lives that were lost and, indeed, will honor life itself.

If you have lost a child under any circumstance, or know someone who has, we would like to recommend that you contact Susan and Wendell Whitmore have made the untimely loss of their beloved daughter, Erika, the impetus to help others in a way that only those who have experienced such loss can. Through their non-profit organization, GriefHaven, they have helped countless parents with their love, their comfort, support and information. They provide grief support counseling and groups for parents and siblings, as well as a plethora of grief tools of support available on their website.  They are looking for donations to pay the way for three grief specialists to fly to Newtown in case you want to help in some way but don’t know what to do. Visit to donate.

During this holiday season, we wish you much love and a peaceful heart.

Ron and Susan Scolastico

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Is anybody in there?

The masks we wearIn this opening of the Study Group Reading this month, the Guides remind us that we are eternal souls, temporarily using the wonderful physical things of earth, such as our bodies. They say:

Most of you have begun to at least think, “I am not my body. I am a human self using this body. I am the actor using this present costume for this particular drama that I am playing out in this lifetime.”

For most of our lives, it is a fairly compatible cooperation between body and soul. However, for some in later years, the body does not function as it was meant to. One of our clients, “J.E,” who is a Study Group member told us a wonderful story about recently visiting a friend’s father who has Alzheimer’s disease. The friend was surprised that she would even want to visit, but J.E. is a loving and fearless nurturer around those in need and wanted to go. When they arrived, she saw the father looking away from them, staring a wall. “It’s kind of like an engine without spark plugs, isn’t it?” she remarked to her friend, referring to the ravages of Alzheimer’s on the body. The father immediately responded, trying to say something. He turned toward J.E., looked at her and grabbed her hand, kissing it. “He never does that,” exclaimed the son in surprise!

We were moved by her story, for clearly, the spirit of the man was still in that body. The brain had just malfunctioned with Alzheimer’s and he could no longer use it to communicate. When J.E. expressed her understanding of what was going on, he heard her and was grateful that someone understood.

It is said that the hearing is the last of the physical senses to go. This story is a good reminder that just because someone cannot use their brain and/or senses to communicate does not mean they are not there. Too often the ill body and non-functioning mind are what is “seen” as the person-the current costume they are wearing. Often they are stuck in the netherworld between life and death, unable to make anyone understand. The father’s heart must have burst with joy at being touched by J.E. in the way she did. A wonderful lesson and reminder for us all.

Anna MarieIn loving memory of Anna Marie Wilczek (born 8-30-1941, passed over peacefully at home on 9-29-2012): There is a Sufi saying, “When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul rejoices for what it has found.” And that’s just the way I feel-mourning the loss of a dearly beloved 40-year-long friendship, yet rejoicing in her journey. Many of you knew her from our workshops, Retreats and the Study Group. We will share in a celebration of her life at our Retreat in November.

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The Courting Dance

The Courting Dance-Oregon Grebes

In the opening of the September Study Group Reading, the Guides address the subject of relationships. Some of you out there must be dating, or looking for a love relationship, because it is unusual for them to address this subject in the opening. But, it is fascinating, even to those of us who have found the love of our lives–like Ron and me. In the opening, the Guides discuss the “courting dance:”

“So, in the mating area, the initial attractions cannot always be trusted, as many of you more mature ones have learned from experience. Naturally, this applies to all relationships, particularly where each one desires to move forward in the relationship, whether it is simple friendship or the mating area.
“Now, we are not suggesting that you mistrust initial experiences with others. We are simply showing you that when you prematurely decide that you know another human, you must calm yourself and say, ‘I now know the first movement of the courting dance, the friendship dance, and I appreciate that. And, it is time to know more.”

It seems that many of us who are intuitive and trust our ability to know another person, sometimes don’t give a new relationship enough time to develop before jumping in head first. At times, that can lead to separation and divorce. Ron and I certainly didn’t listen to this advice. Within a month we were fully committed; we were just lucky that this time, our intuition, and our willingness to ride the hills and valleys without getting off, resulted in an extraordinary relationship that is in its 28th year. The Guides go on to say:

“The reason that you ones hunger so much for perfect love-mating, family, friendship love, whatever it is-is because you are lacking the constant experience of Divine Love, which is perfect, and totally and completely fulfilling.”

When you can take your time and “know” the heart and soul of another person, when your personalities match, and your desires and values are similar, the result of your “courting dance” can look like that of the Oregon Grebes above-graceful, synchronized and headed in the same direction-and blessed with the experience of Divine Love.

A NEW BOOK. The Wisdom of the Guides, The Retreat Series, Vol. 1, Your Spiritual Temple: Being a Soul in a Physical Body These are Readings done at our “Spiritual Retreat With The Guides” in November, 2000. The Readings have been organized and edited by Ron, bringing more clarity and ease of reading than the raw transcripts.
Your Spiritual Temple is currently available as a .pdf file on our website, or as an ebook for Kindle on Amazon and for Nook on Barnes and Noble. It is available in the paperback version through our website as well.

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The Eucalytus Guru

The Eucalyptus Guru

Although healthy looking from the outside, the trunk was quite rotten within.

THE GUIDES are master teachers and I love their wisdom. But recently, my greatest teaching came from a stately Eucalyptus tree.

This month we had to remove our elegant 150-year-old Eucalyptus tree from our front yard. For 25 years we had enjoyed the beauty and scent of this tree. Its huge trunk hid the telephone wires and cars on the street. But several years ago, it began getting enormous mushrooms at the base of the tree. “How exotic,” I thought. But I read that they were a sign of disease inside the tree. I put off having the disease diagnosed for several years because I knew it was a malevolent sign and I didn’t want to hear about it. I wanted to hang onto the tree that I knew and loved. I also didn’t want be bothered with all that was involved with tree removal.

This year we had violent windstorms that toppled many trees in the San Fernando valley where we live. Even before the winds, a friend told us of a Eucalyptus tree that had fallen on a car, killing someone near her office. So reluctantly, in January I hired an arborist to assess all of our trees. And sure enough, the Eucalyptus was formally diagnosed with extensive root damage and internal rot.

In the photo, you can see how the inside of the tree was seriously rotted, leaving a too-thin shell of a trunk. And when they ground out the stump, they told me that it had been hanging on by one root. When they cut that root, the whole stump wiggled side to side. It was only a matter of time before that huge tree could have fallen on our house, the neighbor’s house and possibly someone, or someone’s car.

So we will start over. We’ll plant a hedge to hide the cars and a sweet orange tree that needs a spot with more light. Not only won’t it topple over, but it will provide sustenance for anyone that walks by. It feels like a clean and new fresh start.

If there is to be a lesson learned from our stately Eucalyptus it would be that in loss there is also gain. When we let go of the old, we make space for newness. So, I leave you with a thought to ponder: What might you be hanging onto emotionally or physically, because it’s familiar and “looks good from the outside,” or is too much of a bother to change? And yet you can sense that something is percolating deep within, telling you it is time to let go of an attitude or situation. You might ask yourself, “Where does newness and a fresh start need to take place in my life? Where do I need to let the light in?”

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Happy Holiday Season

December 2011 completed 300 months, 25 years of Study Group Readings. These are monthly Readings that include an opening teaching by The Guides through Ron Scolastico, answers to questions sent in by subscribers, and a closing attunement by The Guides.

This month, the closing attunement was especially inspiring to our daughter, Amy Lee Coy, who added music to Ron’s voice to create an inspiring and soothing attunement. We offer it as a gift of love this Holiday Season. You can listen or download it at this link.

Wishing you much love and joy this holiday season,
Susan and Ron Scolastico

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