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 IContinue reading “Weathering the Storm”

Momentary Hero

One day, you will find yourself on a journey. You never wished or planned for this. You may not think of yourself as particularly adventurous, let alone heroic. You may reject the whole notion of the solitary “Hero’s Journey,” understanding that nobody gets anywhere without the help of innumerable others, and not just those whoContinue reading “Momentary Hero”

Wisdom from Martin, 2018

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. This is a pretty good description of the practice of mindfulness: we offer ourselves the gift of nonjudgmental awareness. This is awareness isContinue reading “Wisdom from Martin, 2018”

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 ofContinue reading “Be an Island”

Angry Ghosts

One night when my mother was a little girl growing up in the panhandle of western Nebraska, she was driving with her father when she saw, far off in the plains, a cross burning in the middle of a circle of Klu Klux Klansmen. The sight filled her with terror. Her parents came from DenmarkContinue reading “Angry Ghosts”

The Quiet Superpower

I love walking in the city, flowing along in a great river of humanity. But under ordinary circumstances I flow along in my own bubble of thought. Most of us live in this contradiction most of the time. We yearn to be part of a larger life, out there in a place where anything canContinue reading “The Quiet Superpower”