Springtime Meditation

It is so pleasant to be able to get outside after, what seems like, such a lengthy winter. I have taken more time this last week to just sit outside. I have been enjoying meditation in different parts of my garden listening to the birds, hearing the wind chimes, and watching the ducks. I can’t imagine not being grateful for the moment – practicing metta for all that is around me is a natural response. May all the animals find what they need to nest, may the plants thrive in the sun, may the peace I feel now sustain me through times of stress and unrest. Just being in the garden, mindfully considering the springtime rebirth, is refreshingly healing after such a stretch of weather that takes your breath away and chases you back inside the house.
Chuck and I have been taking more walks in the fresh air and sunshine – we have naturally made them into more of walking meditation. Just quietly and mindfully walking allows time to note the sounds and sensations within as we stroll along - th…

Think Again.

Think you can just delete your account from Facebook and escape data collection?

Think again.

I deleted my FB account quite a while ago. It was not easy, and took a couple of sessions of attempts prior to actually 'deleting,' including a waiting period (cooling off period?). When, in the course of my Masters study I was alerted to a private student group, I saw a definite need to jump back on Facebook. Yes, I have benefited from the group, but I also learned that Facebook had retained all my information. More than that, it reminds me regularly that I was another 'identity' at one time, and that I may want to meld the two. But wait...I thought I deleted. Think again.

Take a look at this from the NYT - I think you would need to have a post-grad degree in comp-sci to actually accomplish what so many think they are doing by deleting their account:

How disheartening. This is where we are now, watched and milked for demographic data like a herd of cows, but where are we goi…

Much Needed Wisdom

There are times that, while in the midst of struggle, wisdom appears. This is one of those times.

Every morning we start our day by reading a small book called Everyday Tao, by Deng Ming-Dao (1996). Taoism is credited with being, by far, the oldest of human religions, with its sacred text attributed to Lao Tzu, a person who may have been real or simply legend. The name Lao Tzu simply means old wise one, so basically the Daodejing could be thought of as the oldest recording of human wisdom on the planet, or at least to our current and limited knowledge. So, why is all this important?

Because I need wisdom. We all need wisdom. Because we all suffer, either by pain inflicted outside our control, or by reliving and ruminating (yes, ruminating) over the pain that has been inflicted. We cause our own pain and suffering. And, heaven help us, we just can't seem to get out of our own stupid way. Sound familiar?

My beloved read the following excerpt to me this morning. I have been slogging…


I didn’t meditate as usual this morning. Solomon died suddenly and tragically (perhaps from an illness or an internal condition). So very sad.
I rode the waves of grief and trauma and just let them come. I did my best to not attach to the emotions but acknowledged them. I diligently tried not to create stories along the way, but I am not sure I was successful. I struggled with feeling responsible somehow, and guilty for not being able to help him in his distress. I felt helpless in the face of his anguish … and mine.
I sat with him for an hour or more – probably 2. I think he went into a deep shock and was slowly slipping away. I thought I heard faint purring and sporadic shallow respiration. At one point I could hear a faint heartbeat, but after a while even that went away. I was just heartsick.
I sought to PAUSE and feel what was happening in my body. At one point I had a major sugar-crash and grabbed for glucose-tab. At another check-in with my body, I wondered why I didn’t feel …

Taking a Stand: Right Speech

“Thus, more than an ethical principle, devotion to truthful speech is a matter of taking our stand on reality rather than illusion, on the truth grasped by wisdom rather than the fantasies woven by desire.”
Bhikkhu Bodhi’s perspective is from that of a monk. When I read his words, I am reminded that he is a renunciant. He has chosen to live without many of the comforts, desires, and pleasures that those of us non-renunciants enjoy. But he does have one thing that many of us do not – undistracted vision. The above profundity that flows from his observation, most certainly, is a nugget worth further exploration.
He also has the luxury of speaking the truth. I know that may sound strange, but for those of us living out in the fray of society, we don’t often have the space or privilege to speak the truth. For example, have you ever answered the cashier’s scripted inquiry by stating the truth: “no, I actually didn’t find everything I was looking for.” I have responded in this way, and my e…

The Gap

I'll see you in the gap.

That place between our out-breath and our in.

That pause between what is said and what is understood,
between one thought and the next.

Between the night and the dawn,
and between the last rays of sunshine and the gathering dusk.

The gap lies between the solid platform of obligation
and the moving train of what-if.

It is the space between sleeping and waking,
and the transition between what is expected and the exceptional.

The gap is that terrain between what we believe and what we are afraid to say,
and that moment when our life flashes before our eyes.

The gap is silent.
Lao Tzu said that in silence there is strength,
and who can argue?
For it is in the silence of the gap 
that human potential eternally resides.

Push a little farther into the gap.
Breathe in, breathe out, and notice the pause.
There it is, the silent, pregnant gap.
Close your eyes and know that it is real and alive,
full of promise and empty of judgement.
It embodies the potential of grow…

A Confession and a Promise

I am ashamed to say that I am responsible, at least in part, for the mess our country is now in.

Yes, it is true that I am not in politics, nor do I have a weighty voice of authority. But I still have to take some of the responsibility for where we find ourselves. I am sure we could, without reservation, call the present political situation a dumpster fire.

My family was and is blue - forever blue. And so was I until I entered religious life. As a Christian, and then as a Messianic Jew, I was compelled to vote red. Why, you ask? Because Family Values. Because conservatism. Because all my friends did. I am ashamed to say that I voted red usually, but I didn't always vote red, I did vote for Obama's second term...but I didn't tell anyone. Still, those red votes gave place and validity to some of the politicians that are in office presently.

I am chagrined to think that I was pushed along with the peer tide of religious conservatism. I have always hated peer pressure, but su…