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Coming in Peace, 2017

Why not start the New Year granting ourselves the blessing of being forgiven—free of any trace of the wounds and limitations we are all trailing due to what we been through and what we did and left undone? This may feel counter-intuitive, given all that has happened in 2016. But forgiveness, like gratitude, is a…

candle-with-cupped-hands

Light in the Dark

This is the dark time. December is the month of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day when the North Pole is tilted farthest from the sun. Our ancient ancestors observed this event, watching the stars and the shortening days, patiently abiding and taking note until one day…it changed. They learned that the…

George Inness, The Home of the Heron, oil on canvas, 30 by 45 inches, The Art Institute of Chicago, Edward B. Butler Collection, 1893

Giving Thanks

“Today we have gathered and see that the cycles of life continue.” Adapted from the Mohawk, this Thanksgiving greeting to the world offers thanks to the People, to Mother Earth and all her plants and herbs and creatures, to the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Waters, the Four Winds, and the Teachers. In the…

Thich Nhat Hanh & Martin Luther King, June 1966

The Gift of Truth

The Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn taught people to take good care of their anger, not to push it away but to hold it with kindness, as we would a wounded child. I would encourage us all to also hold our fear and pain and everything else that arises as well. When it gets right…

Lawren Harris (Can. 1885-1970), "Beaver Swamp," Algoma, 1920, oil on canvas.

Determination

“If we could surrender to Earth’s intelligence, we would rise up rooted, like trees.” –Rainer Maria Rilke   One day recently I woke up with no voice, just a breathy whisper. This is challenging under ordinary circumstances but on this particular day it felt like catastrophe. I was scheduled to teach mindfulness meditation and give…

Odilon Redon, "Flower Clouds," 1903

Soft

The root meaning of heal is whole. Illness and mishap and even great tragedy can lead us eventually from the pain of isolation to a greater wholeness. There is such a powerful tendency in our spiritual aspiration to climb up out of the mess of our lives. But what if awakening involved sinking down instead…