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Desert Flowers

I’m back in green, lush New York after a week in the Mojave Desert, at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center.   The desert landscape is wild and beautiful, and during early morning walks I thought of Don Juan, and also the Christian Desert Fathers.  The power of the land and all its seen and unseen inhabitants […]

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Off The Beaten Track

Thoreau spent two years and two months living at Walden Pond in a cabin he built himself because he wished to live deliberately, to experience the essential facts of life.  This morning, I’m packing to go to Joshua Tree.  I’m very excited to see this desert, which I’ve learned may be in bloom.  I’m excited […]

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The Sound of the Bell

Among the tasks or “yogi jobs” a participant can volunteer for during silent retreats at the Insight Meditation Society, a major Buddhist meditation center in rural Massachusetts, the most resonant in every sense is the role of bell ringer. Before dawn and before every meditation session during the day, the bell ringers walk through the […]

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Fronting the Essentials

There was a blackout in these parts yesterday afternoon.  It was the best possible kind of blackout, happening on a warm and golden spring afternoon.  Also, I was alone.  I didn’t hurry and call the power company and get as much information as possible as my husband would do, along with any number of other […]

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Bringing Light to the Darkness

Why be good?  Why seek a greater consciousness, a source of non-egocentric and non-violent thoughts or feelings?  I’ve been pondering this question since I read a statement by a Vatican spokesman on the death of Osama bin Laden: “Osama be Laden, as we all know, had the very grave responsibility of spreading division and hatred […]