I ran across this phrase recently. It caught my attention because I love the word abide. Looking up its etymology, I found that it carries with it a sense of “waiting onward.” I loved that too. Not waiting passively or impatiently, but with an attitude of alert attention, open receptivity, readiness to engage fully with […]
I haven’t had a word of the year for a decade. In an illustration of cosmic humor of the universe, my last word of the year was in 2013 and my word was “wait.” But as 2013 came to a close, no new word came for 2014. Now, ten years later, as 2023 drew to
Greetings to all and wishes for a good start to the new year. I was at my cabin for New Year’s Eve. I did my usual ritual of writing a letter to the old year thanking it for its blessings, and a letter welcoming the new year. It’s normal as a year ends to reflect.
I was describing to someone how working on the last stages of my new book as I was preparing for cancer surgery this summer really helped me stay centered. Reading and rereading the chapters to edit and proofread kept the content of the book front and center in my consciousness and was a constant and
[Note: I’ve been trying to update something on my subscriber service, and apparently my last post got resent one or two extra times to some people. If that happened to you, I apologize for the annoyance. Hopefully, everything is fixed now.] Someone complained to me recently that she had gotten away from her spiritual practice
A friend going through a difficult time shared with me that she is choosing to navigate the challenges with curiosity and compassion. That struck me as a very wise approach to most everything that arises in our lives. Curiosity suspends judgment and allows us to fully engage with the present moment without grasping or rejecting.
Many of us have had the experience of hearing our name called as a teacher or group leader goes down the list. The typical response is usually “Here!” or “Present!” Sometimes this is accompanied by a raised hand to help identify ourselves. The person calling the roll is not asking anything of us at that
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8 Since the beginning of the year, I have paid a lot more attention to my thoughts. Many of us
Mistakes. We all make them. Yes, even me. I wrote that last sentence with a smile because occasionally someone has a (mistaken!) perception of me that I don’t make mistakes. Perhaps they think that because I write this blog and lead a contemplation group and meditate and so on, that somehow I am always wise.
Open my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me that I may walk through this day with the kind of awareness that calls forth grateful living. ~Macrina Wiederkehr I’ve been using this quote recently to start my day. I like the idea of waking up with a blessing, an expression of gratitude for a precious
We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness. ~Thich Nhat Hanh Several people have asked me recently how I cope with all the sh*t going on in the world. They want to know how I find compassion for all the people saying and doing things that, at least to some, seem, hmm, how
One of the images often used to describe Dao, or a person who is aligned with Dao, is the Chinese character 朴 . It means simple, pure, in the original or basic state. It literally means an uncarved block of wood. In that uncarved block are many possible forms that might emerge under the carver’s
In the movie Peaceful Warrior, an injured gymnast Dan regains his health under the spiritual guidance of a mysterious man whom he calls Socrates. In the final scene, Dan is performing his routine in competition, centering himself by focusing his mind on this imagined dialogue: Socrates: Where are you?Dan: HereSocrates: What time is it?Dan: NowSocrates:
Several times in recent months, someone has expressed to me hesitation to participate in a get together because, as they said, they felt that they had nothing of value to offer that particular day. Maybe because they were worried about something, or distracted, or just in a slump. They really wanted to come, but they
I’m walking a labyrinth with some friends next week. I love this meditative practice. It models how we move through life in faith. Unlike a maze, there are no wrong turns in a labyrinth. Yes, there are twists and turns, but the path leads unerringly to the center. You cannot get lost. So you can
I was practicing push hands recently with a taiji buddy. (Push hands is a partner practice, sort of like taiji sparring.) He shared something from his teacher who reminds him from time to time to “trust where you are.” That intrigued me and I asked what it meant. He explained that his teacher observed that
Years ago I attended a Fourth of July party at the US ambassador’s residence in Paris. Before you start making assumptions, let me clarify that I did not warrant an invitation to this shindig; I was a tagalong guest of someone who did. So there I was in the midst of diplomats, political and economic
The Chinese character for “practice” occurs only once in the entire Dao De Jing. I found that intriguing and thought we could explore the practices suggested in that chapter. Close the mouth – Quietness The first practice is described as closing the mouth. This of course could literally mean not talking. And certainly many of
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~George Santayana Oops! I did it again. ~Britney Spears Many of us have caught ourselves at one time or another repeating a pattern or a mistake, and thinking, “I knew better. Why did I do that again?” Our history can teach us to