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What Draws You?

When I was young, I didn’t write in a journal. I drew pictures. I drew every day, whenever I had chance. Drawing was my way of entering my inner life—my real life–not the life of the culture at large, the world of words and inherited stories. Drawing put me in touch with the world closer […]

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Outside and Inside

It feels different to be outside than to be inside. Knowing this distinction seems so basic to consciousness that doctors might ask patients coming out of a coma this question: “Do you know where you are right now? Are you inside or outside?” And yet we forget. All the time. We forget we have been […]

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Seeing as Acceptance

Deep down most of us know that it is not what happens outside that shapes us so much as our inner responses. There is an ancient African proverb that tells when we have no enemy within, no enemy without can really harm us. Really? Not even a great white shark? But seriously, can this be […]

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The Power that Reveals

Now seems a good time to gently remind people that presence can be a refuge and resource. On paper, it may not seem like much. The Oxford dictionary defines presence as “the state or fact of existing, occurring or being present.” This seems so rudimentary, just bare existence, as if you are showing up at […]

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Weathering the Storm

As I write this many of us are recovering from a powerful March nor’easter or northeaster, a powerful storm with high winds that caused flooding and much damage throughout Northeast, including here in the Hudson Valley. There was no power or cable for three days in my town, and many are still without. Now I […]

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Be an Island

“Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves….” As he lay dying, the Buddha gave this advice to his beloved disciple Ananda. Death reveals the true value and meaning of life, which can be summed up in two words: it passes. Life goes on with us or without us. When the Buddha spoke of […]