My first post and I find that I am unable to guess how to use WordPress “categories.” In the publishing aids column I see that I can add a new category. I’ll add “Dialogue.”

Usually when I speak about dialogue I am talking about a special dialogue practiced by relatively few. Here in Colombia there are a few that hoped it would be a part of their “Dialogue For Peace.” Elsewhere it has been called an excellent listening practice. I’ll eat and then write a bit about the practice of this ‘dialogue.’ I haven’t eaten yet, but I do have some vegetables and chicken cooking. Let’s see if I can get this post cooking.

Dialogue, as I use the term here, is about the way members of a practice group use spoken language to safely share varied perspectives, attitudes, opinions, experiences, and assumptions with fidelity. There are a lot of rules to practice, several important ones have to do with listening.

This sharing is done in a way to help one to understand another’s way of seeing. It is designed to be a peaceful way to understanding and meaning. Some have thought it notably like a way of “fair fighting” taught by some psychologists to married couples having  some difficult issues. However, this dialogue is for larger groups.

A practice group called Magic Table Dialogue reminded us that each bit of speech in these dialogue practice groups may be found to be lasting gifts of the speakers to the listeners. This kind of speech which we simply call dialogue is becoming a way to look deeply at assumptions and to see them with respect and understanding.

My intention is to continue posting about this useful dialogue practice here on Mago Bill.I am just now remembering that all of our practice in developing this dialogue method has been in face to face situations. While here I do not see your face or even have a notion of your identity or avatar. I have no idea of how this practice may be done online!

I would very much like to hear from you. There must be a way to comment here on the site.

I hope to write more about dialogue, prehistory, governance, etc.

I have eaten a feel better. Even though the veggies were only potatoes, onions, and tomatoes, they were really delicious.

Please tell what you think about the font, paragraphing, etc. I am not completely new to blogging, but this is my first effort on WordPress. So I can use, with great gratitude, any suggestions about layout of this blog platform or how I am using it.

Thank you for reading my first post here!



by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill







Try it where you live.

It is useful to remember that civility is an important part of effective civics and politics.

We can benefit by learning:

  • more of civility.
  • some collaborative leadership.
  • about consensus building.
  • a deeper level of tolerance.
  • about sources of conflict.
  • how people who are fundamentally different from one another can develop sensitivities that will enable them to get along.

We are at our best when we:

    • are listening.
    • are working in partnership with others.
    • lead by example.
    • have the courage to be appropriately humble.

Learn, educate yourself, find out what others have to say, organize, plan.

We have a lot to learn. My old aunt said that by beginning we are half way there. After that, one keeps on keeping on.

by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill

Let’s Have a Party

Or, let’s have a platform. Or, let’s have a plank. “A party” sounds most attractive, but I have reason to consider a plank first.

The kind of plank I am considering is political. It is the name given to fundamental parts of a political platform. Political party platforms are made  up of planks. This kind of plank does not come from a tree, but rather from the minds of men and women.  We can shape one, or more.

We have some ideas about the nature of a political party.  Historically each person running for political office  usually had a platform much like the platform of his party. So we know that a platform is what a person running for office stood on. I Great Britain, I believe, stood for office rather than running for office as one does in the US. A platform was once more about what party stood for rather than stood on. A party and it’s platform may be much about wants, interests, needs, desires, values, and even philosophy of citizens, the men and women of the nation.

So, parties had platforms. An important of those platforms were its planks.  Each plank was likely to represent a specific want, interest need, etc.

Right now I a less interested in specific candidates, elections, or parties and am more interested in the specifics the platform they stand on. The specifics are best found in the planks

So, I am interested in platforms and the planks of those platforms, I am interested in specific planks and sets of planks one can stand on and for. 

I want a solid plank I can work on and see implemented in our nation.  I am interested in a plank I can be proud to stand up for. I am interested in a plank which represents real and specific values and interests in an understandable and attractive way.


First we form some great planks. With them we can make a great platform.  On that great platform can stand a great (new) party.  A party to be proud of.

Heaven forbid that other parties should copy a plank of ours. 



by Richard Sheehan

for Mago ill


Chocolate Beer

Before 1100 BC
Inhabitants of what is now Puerto Escondido, Honduras drank a fermented version of cacao. This may be the earliest documented account of chocolate consumption.
I think that I got this tidbit from a piece by Rosemary Joyce,

Chair of the U of C at Berkeley anthropology department and her colleges. Check California Mag at californiamag.org


Caves all the way down — WebInvestigator.KK.org – by F. Kaskais

A shaman-healer prepares for an Ayahuasca ceremony in La Calera, Cundinamarca. Photo by Eitan Abramovic/AFP/Getty Do psychedelics give access to a universal, mystical experience of reality, or is that just a culture-bound illusion? by Jules Evans is policy director at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the […]

via Caves all the way down — WebInvestigator.KK.org – by F. Kaskais

Richard and Mago Bill

My name is Richard, Richard Sheehan, Richard C. Sheehan, Richard Carroll Sheehan. I am a U.S. citizen living in Colombia.
Mago Bill was sometimes called M. William Sheehan. He was a Sheehan and a Carroll. I may have some words to say about him latter.
Although I have some passion for governance this Mago Bill blog may best be call a no niche or a multi niche blog.
Topics you may expect to see here may briefly named as>
history, prehistory, world history, Ireland, Colombia, dialogue, social dialogue, cultural dialogue, writing, politics, governance, and some topics best unnamed at this time.
In time I hope to make Mago Bill, the blog, more and more interactive.
Hello and Welcome!

by Richard Sheehan
for Mago Bill

Mago Bill Way of Dialogue

You will begin to learn about Mago Bill as I learn to get this blog working. Here at the blog we have learned of certain interests of ours. High among those interests is a certain kind of dialogue practice and we find we have a lot to say it. Below you can find some of that which our dialogue practice is an about about what is not.

Dialogue practice is not:

~ a place to make a particular point prevail.

~ a debate or discussion.

~ an attempt to make points.

~ a game to win or lose.

Our dialogue practice is a way:

~ to peace and good-will.

~ for us to see our words as gifts.

~ to keep a stream of meaning flowing among us.

~ to an activity which helps us to be us.

~ through the meaning of word.

~ to an honest, supportive activity.

~ to greater awareness and enhanced consciousness.

~ to hone our listening skills.

~ to develop new speaking skills,

~ to practice effective methods of communication.

~ to cultural preservation, growth, and creativity.

~ of making a healthy, effective society more probable.

~ to meet interesting people.

~ of putting honest thoughts on the table where we can look at them and begin to find their meaning.

~ to practice a “second” language.

~ of being heard.

~ of finding pleasure in speaking up.

~ to understanding among us and within us.

~ to satisfying relationship.

~ to exchange idea and opinion.

~ to share experience.

~ to more effective communication outside the group.

According to David Bohm, dialogue practice is:

~ participating in a flow of meaning between us, through us, and among us.

~ an activity out of which emerges new and renewed understanding.

~ an activity which helps us to be an us.

by Richard Sheehan
for Mago Bill

by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill and you

An Active Citizen

You can start, or restart your life as an active citizen by taking one, or more of the following steps. More may be be better.


  • watching or attending meetings of your city council or local school board.
  •  keeping your sense of humor and experiencing some pleasure as you remember that political actions are serious and have important consequences.
  • why some believe that each and every public act is political.
  • what an active citizen can do to help his or her school district, town, city, state.
  • you might do well to start at your local library.
  • keeping politically humble, curious, and modest.
  • making an opportunity to attend a couple of meetings of civic organizations new to you.
  • that you are free to visit political party meetings.
  • joining a political party and that it is OK to change parties.
  • registering to vote. It can be more interesting to register as a party member.
  • getting a better understanding of issues, policies, planks, or even of a specific bill.
  • Contacting the office of a specific office holder and asking what his or her position is on your issue of interest.
  • calling the the U.S. Capitol switchboard and telling them your zip code. They will transfer you to the office of your Representative. Tell your Representative’s representative what is on your mind, ask your question, or say what it is you want.
  • Writing to the office of your Senator. You can check online to find out how to spell his or her name. Address your letter letter to him at United States Senate, Washington DC 20510.
  • Writing to your Congressman by name at United States House of Representatives, Washington DC 20515.
  • sitting quietly for awhile and letting what you are learning work itself around a bit in your mind. You may be beginning to cook a bit politically
  • making time to learn about your county government and state government.
  • remembering that no one really has to be politically conscious all the time.
  • finding a friend who seems politically knowledgeable or civically interested. You can talk civics, issues of governance and like that. Your librarian could be helpful.
  • Your first step takes you half the way.


Thanks for reading citizen!


by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill