Archive for April, 2011

Meital Dohan, host of Loud Miracles, interviews Stephen Hopson, author of Obstacle Illusions

April 12, 2011

Deaf, Living Life, and Surprising Everyone

Meital Dohan talks to Stephen Hopson, a former Wall Street stockbroker who’s deaf handicap pushed him to work harder than the rest. They discuss his school life growing up, along with how he got the job on Wall Street plus how his work drive and passion made him a highly recognized broker. They talk about why he gave that all up to be a motivational speaker and how miracles played a role in his life. This episode features music from Geela’s Album, The Veil of Life. The interview is now posted on SoundCloud.

Listen to other interviews by Meital Dohan on The Uncarved Blog.

Meital has moved on but her interviews are posted on SoundCloud.

More about Stephen Hopson
Stephen has been profoundly deaf since birth but that hasn’t stopped him! His mother taught him to speak at home and sent him to public school. When he was five, Stephen told his parents he would become a pilot and was dismissed as being foolish, but as an adult made aviation history by becoming the world’s first deaf instrument-rated pilot in 2006.

Stephen is a former Wall Street stockbroker where he won numerous sales awards and recognition in the coveted Executive Club three years in a row. In less than 4 years, he increased personal sales 1,700%. While in this position, he built and managed multi-million dollar investment portfolios for wealthy clients.

Stephen is a man of intense passion who is known as a risk-taker with a capital R. In 1996, he stunned his family, friends and colleagues by giving up a lucrative six-figure Wall Street career to follow his divine calling of becoming an inspirational speaker and author. At that time, he had not spoken to a live audience since graduating from college 15 years earlier nor did he have any writing credentials.

You can find out more about about Stephen Hopson at his website: To learn more about his book, visit the landing page for Obstacle Illusions: For other articles and interviews on Stephen posted on this blog, click here.

Indonesian Mystery Poem honoring Nyi Roro Kidul

April 12, 2011

Indonesian Mystery Poem
Honoring Nyi Roro Kidul
Queen of the Southern Seas

He hides within the rock
of three dimensions
and cannot be found
in this world

When night comes
she rises like a moon
to shine her light
upon the mountain

The sea dances
rising and falling
like a lover
in her arms

What pull does she have
on his life
as she looks for a partner
to dance with

The moon bows
before the rising sun
and he is left

© Ken Chawkin
June 2000
Jakarta, Indonesia


Sitting with Sally: 5-haiku poem

April 11, 2011

Sitting with Sally
(5-haiku poem)

Sitting with Sally
After moments of madness
Then freedom from fear

Sitting quietly
Our hearts and minds are settled
The soul is nourished

Stillness saturates
Every tissue with comfort
Our world is at peace

It feels like being
In a deep meditation
Too silent to speak

Fulfilling moments
Just resting here together
And we are thankful

© Ken Chawkin
April 9-13+16+18, 2011
Fairfield, Iowa

Also see An Unwanted Guest and Two Love Tanka.

I wrote an earlier poem, Rage Against the Disease, but never posted it.


Dr. Sherrill Sellman interviews Stephen Hopson on PRN’s What Women Must Know

April 11, 2011

What Women Must Know – 04/11/11

Today Dr. Sherrill Sellman interviewed Stephen Hopson about his life and book, Obstacle Illusions, on What Women Must Know with Dr. Sellman, on the Progressive Radio Network. Stephen is introduced at 5:46 minutes into the show. To listen to this “profoundly inspiring interview” click on the title or download the mp3. You can find out more about Obstacle Illusions at, and about Stephen Hopson at See additional articles and interviews for Stephen posted here on this blog.

Stephen Hopson on Writers’ Voices

April 9, 2011

Writers’ Voices – 20110408 – Stephen Hopson

Stephen Hopson is the guest this week on Writers’ Voices. Stephen, living currently in Fairfield, was born deaf, but had the dream at a young age to become a pilot. As an adult, he made aviation history by becoming the world’s first deaf instrument-rated pilot. He also had a very successful 15-year career on Wall Street. In 1996 he had an epiphany that inspired him to leave Wall Street behind to pursue a career as a motivational speaker and author. “Obstacle Illusions; Transforming Adversity into Success” is his first book. The book tells stories from Stephen’s life, from childhood to adulthood, and shares lessons he has learned along the way. Don’t miss this inspirational show!

See related posts on Stephen Hopson here. You can read more about Hopson’s story on his website:

Deaf Pilot Tells His Record-Setting Story on ANN

April 4, 2011

Deaf Pilot Tells His Record-Setting Story on

The 28-minute special with Ryan Haidet, aired Sunday morning (4-03-2011) on two of AkronNewsNow stations — 1590 WAKR and 97.5 WONE. They aired five minutes of that interview again this morning (Monday, April 4, 2011) on 1590 WAKR.  And it has been running in the news as a short story on all three of their stations — 97.5 WONE, 94.9 WQMX and 1590 WAKR.

You can listen to the whole interview, after a short commercial here: Link to article with photo:

Stephen Hopson will have another book-signing for Obstacle Illusions this Saturday, April 9, 2-4 pm, at Revelations Bookstore and Cafe in Fairfield, Iowa.

See related posts on Stephen Hopson here. You can read more about Hopson’s story on his website:

The Journey by Mary Oliver

April 3, 2011


One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver (Dream Work)

Read: Maria Shriver Interviews the Famously Private Poet Mary Oliver.

Others: Five A.M. in the Pinewoods (House of Light) Mindful (Why I Wake Early)

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver, photo by Ken West

See It Is I Who Must Begin by Václav Havel. It shares a similar sentiment.

See this remembrance of Mary Oliver with links to more of her poems.

Meditation improves maths and English

April 2, 2011

Meditation improves maths and English

Created: Monday, March 28, 2011

The Transcendental Meditation technique may be an effective approach to improve maths and English academic achievement in low-performing students, according to a new study published in the journal Education.

The study was conducted at a California public middle school with 189 students who were below proficiency level in English and maths. Change in academic achievement was evaluated using the California Standards Tests (CST).

Students who practised the Transcendental Meditation programme showed significant increases in maths and English scale scores and performance level scores over a one-year period. 41% of the meditating students showed a gain of at least one performance level in maths compared to 15% of the non-meditating controls.

Among the students with the lowest levels of academic performance, “below basic” and “far below basic,” the meditating students showed a significant improvement in overall academic achievement compared to the control group, which showed a slight gain.

“This initial research, showing the benefits of the Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation programme on academic achievement, holds promise for public education,” said Sanford Nidich, EdD, lead author and professor of education at Maharishi University of Management. “The findings suggest that there is an easy-to-implement, value-added educational programme which can help low-performing minority students begin to close the achievement gap,” said Nidich.

Results highly relevant to South Africa

“This study has huge relevance to South Africa,” said Dr Taddy Blecher, director of Consciousness Based Education in South Africa. “The school featured in the study was situated in a poor and often violent neighbourhood, and the students participating in the study were from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds, with low and sometimes very low levels of proficiency in basic educational skills. These are the same kind of challenges that confront educators in South Africa. At present, standard tests of basic skills (especially maths) at Grade 6 level place South African children near the bottom of the international table.

“Where we have implemented Transcendental Meditation in South African schools,” Blecher continued, “results have been excellent. When 9,000 school-children learned TM in a Gauteng township their pass rates increased by 25%, while the pass rates of 12,000 children in other schools in the area fell by 1%.  South African schools implementing TM have also experienced a marked improvement in student motivation and discipline, as well as teacher morale.”

Faculty of the California school, surveyed as part of the project, reported the Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation programme to be a valuable addition to the school. They reported the students to be calmer, happier, and less hyperactive, with an increased ability to focus on school-work. In terms of the school environment, faculty reported less student fights, less abusive language, and an overall more relaxed and calm atmosphere since implementation of the programme.

health24 is South Africa’s largest health website.

Also see New research shows Transcendental Meditation improves standardized academic achievement

Haiku for Fred

April 2, 2011

On seeing needlepoint in a picture frame on Fred’s desk,
made by Dariana when she was 7 or 8 years old, I wrote this

Haiku for Fred

I’m riding the waves
across the EEG page
and they spell out ‘Dad’

Ken Chawkin
March 29, 2011
Fairfield, Iowa

Dr. Fred Travis is Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management, in Fairfield, Iowa, USA.

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