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3 Dec
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Precious Human Birth

Let me introduce my brand new grand-niece, born Friday, Nov 30, at 7:19 pm. Her name is Harper Frances. (Frances is my mother’s name.)

Welcome, little one!

May you be safe and feel protected.
May you be happy, just as you are.
May you be healthy and strong.
May you live in the world with ease.

18 Sep
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Plant Good Seeds

To continue in the theme of the discussion at our last Sunday Sangha, I offer this excerpt from Our Crisis of Heartwritten by Jack Kornfield

“The crisis of our times requires individuals and our culture to engage in a growing ability and willingness to see, to speak out, and to feel our grief and regrets, our fears, longing, and confusion. As part of this, like South Africa, we need a national Truth and Reconciliation process to come to terms with our denial of the Native genocide and African American slavery, so we are not continuing to refight the Civil War. On the other side, some of us are so loyal to our suffering that we also need heart wisdom to honor and express our love, our creative hopes, our delight and joy…

We are not powerless. Modern public discourse is almost designed to leave us overwhelmed and disheartened and, frankly, resigned to the state of the world. Don’t fall for this.

“Neuroscience has shown that human beings are born with innate compassion and care for self and others. It also shows that human beings are born with survival circuits, which, when activated, operate from fear, aggression, selfishness, and hate. It’s up to us which one we let create our future….

“As Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh explains:
The quality of our life depends on the seeds we water. If you plant tomato seeds in your gardens, tomatoes will grow. Just so, if we water the seeds of fear and hate, they will grow. If we water the seeds of peace in your heart, peace will grow. When the seeds of love, respect, and peace are watered, we will become happy.

“Intention is the key. Like an inner compass, we can set the direction of our life with the deepest intentions of the heart. But the secret is to act without attachment to the results. We get to plant seeds based on our best intentions, but we do not control how or when they will sprout. They will, in their own time.

“So, plant good seeds. Trust in renewal.

“And you who read this: Let these words be a reminder, a call. Find your way to quiet yourself and tend your heart. Promote love and spread the power of compassion in your work, in your community. Have hope.

“I remain hopeful despite the many painful current events, because we know how to do this. It’s in us to help one another and create a better world.

“In Zen, they say there are only two things: You sit, and you tend the garden. You quiet your mind and open your heart. And then, naturally, you get up and tend the garden of the world.


Click here to read Jack’s article in full.

15 Jun
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As Much Time As Possible

This photo of my brothers was taken decades ago (the oldest is now 65!!!!) but they still look like this to me. At least in my heart/mind.

Two of them are coming for a visit — one for the weekend, the other for a little over a week — and I want to spend as much time as possible with them, so I won’t post again until after they’re gone.

Check back on Wednesday, June 27.

I hope you too spend as much time as possible with whoever you love.

1 Dec
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Easily Overlooked

A couple of weeks ago one of my dharma buddies sent me this quote from Ajahn Sumedho, which I had in my files, and which featured prominently at the Nature of Awareness retreat I posted about yesterday, which made me take it out and look at it again. Which I am very glad of. Because it was exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. (thanks, Alice)

Awareness is your refuge:
Awareness of the changingness of feelings,
of attitudes, of moods, of material change
and emotional change:
Stay with that, because it’s a refuge that is
It’s not something that changes.
It’s a refuge that you can trust in.
This refuge is not something that you create.
It’s not a creation. It’s not an ideal.
It’s very practical and very simple, but
easily overlooked or not notice.
When you’re mindful,
you’re beginning to notice,
it’s like this. 

19 Jun
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Dreams and Blessings

One of my CDL colleagues, Grace, sent this email to our group:

I had a dream last week.

Pauletta was driving a baby blue convertible heading north. She looked beautiful, healthy, and radiant. There were three nuns in the car with her, tucked down and cramped a bit — as it was a small convertible — and she looked at me, smiled beautifully and waved.

It felt like a blessing.


Pauletta was one of our fellow Community Dharma Leaders, who died on June 5.

That image of Pauletta, radiant and waving, heading north in a baby blue convertible crammed full of nuns, has stayed with me. Thank you, Grace. Your email, too, was a blessing.


2 Jun
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In the Mail

Dear Email Subscribers,
For some reason the posts I put up yesterday and earlier today didn’t get sent out, even though they appear on the website, just like always. I think the problem has been solved now. At least I hope so! 


8 Nov
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Please Vote


31 Oct
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The Gift Your Life Requires


My treat for you this Halloween night is a link to the talk Jack Kornfield gave on the final evening of the Fall Insight Retreat. It’s titled: The Bodhisattva and the Power of Intention. It includes an invitation to craft a personal Bodhisattva vow and to take it out into the world.

Listen to the talk to the very end. Do what he suggests. Then look up at the stars.

“Know that you are not alone and that this darkness has its purpose. Gradually it will school your eyes to find the gift your life requires, hidden in this night corner, illuminating your heart.” — John O’Donohue

20 Jul
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Not So Skillful

cats-cats-musical-970x544It’s been kind of a traumatic 24 hrs for me cat-wise, so no proper post for today. (Let’s just say I will not be trying to get Izzy into a cat carrier again anytime soon.)

Check back tomorrow.

11 Nov
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Thanks Giving

I had to take my mom for more tests yesterday…which is why there was no post….but I’m back at my desk today, and happily so, since the doc just called and said all the tests have come back normal. So no stroke!

There is MUCH to be thankful for.





Photo: Me with my mom and dad at my niece’s wedding in 2012.