Feeling Haunted by Your Past? Here’s How to Free Yourself

Our life is a storied life. Basically, we are either living “reruns” of old stories or creating and living the story of now. I can only answer the question “What am I to do?” if I can answer the question “Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?”  –Alasdair Macintyre, Scotish philosopher   We are haunted by our past until we consciously choose to give up an old story of ourself and live in the story of now. Eckhart Tolle refers to this as the “power of now,” I understand it as the STORY OF NOW. The power of now is about … Continue reading

Join The Noise

There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street, and being the noise. Rumi, “A Community of The Spirit” Join the noise. Plant your lotuses in the noise and fire of your daily life. Give up the questing and searching for meaning and make meaning through your writing and living. Give voice to things bound by experience. As meaning makers we create and manifest meaning as we walk, as we write, where we live. We discover who or what we are within our families and communities, within the “noisy street” … Continue reading

Don’t Know

I start this blog with not knowing what to write about today. So let me begin with inviting you to my final open writers day for 2014: Friday October 10th.  This “final invite” for the year reminds me of my recent visit to Minneapolis with my daughter of seventeen. Over the years we would spend long weekends visiting friends in the Twin Cities. I wanted to stay with our friend (and Lydia’s spiritual grandmother, Shannon) this last summer of Lydia’s high school years. I wanted to sleep on Shannon’s couch that turns into a round bed. Lydia and I have slept … Continue reading

The Best Poem Ever

After I am done writing this blog, I am going to go write the best poem ever, turn a few frogs into princesses and finish my novel. You? Open writing day at my home and retreat center this coming Tuesday September 16th, (free and open) join us!  If you want instruction and guidance from me sign up for my retreat in January: World into Word: A full day Writing Retreat. Write that short story, blog, article or book based on your personal life experiences and knowledge. This is for the fiction and non-fiction writer. Write from where you are. Turn your world into … Continue reading

Precious Life: Precious Teacher

Lately when people ask, “How are you?” instead of responding with “good,” I say, “fortunate.” I thought about this. Just “good”, when either I am doing well or not, doesn’t truly represent my present state. I am though, fortunate. Fortunate to live where I do, to be in loving relationships, to have the health I have, to have access to such vast inner and outer resources. I am fortunate to have encountered such a teacher as the Venerable Geshe Sopa at Deer Park. In my recent book, I offer 11 core principles of the zero point agreement, one which is … Continue reading

Good-bye In This Context

It was a week ago that the Venerable Geshe Sopa took his last breath. I have not had a chance to make it to Deer Park to join in with others to chant and pray. In my heart I say good-bye to Geshe-la “in this context.” I am sad that such a beautiful teacher has left us, and grateful for all the teachings I received and for all the teachings and guidance he left for the whole of humanity. He will be missed in this context. This is how I say good-bye to those in my life, “Good-bye in this … Continue reading

Good Regret/Bad Regret In Life and Writing

Regret can propel us forward or take ahold of us and keep us fastened to the past. Good regret’s sting can teach us something. It’s the sting of awareness that we made a mistake. We now have an opportunity to do it differently. The regret of missed opportunities is a trickier one and can slide into “bad” regret – where you mire yourself with the “could of beens’, should have beens’.” Regret can be a motivation to act, to move forward with new insight into what works and what doesn’t work for you. You can use the sting and knowledge … Continue reading

Healing Heartbreak (and . . . Can This Democracy Be Saved?)

In a dark time, the eye begins to see. —Theodore Roethke, “In a Dark Time” For decades, I have relied on Parker J. Palmer as a guide and mentor. He is an author, educator, and activist whose work focuses on the issues of education, community, leadership, spirituality, and social change. In Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit (now in paperback!) he starts with: “I began this book in a season of heartbreak—personal and political heartbreak—that soon descended into a dark night of the soul.” This is particularly meaningful to me right … Continue reading

Geshe Sopa Rinpoche, very precious guru, and great spiritual friend and guide entered into clear light meditation

Geshe Sopa Rinpoche passed into the clear light on Thursday August 28th. In respect to his work and teachings I am re-bloging a few articles I wrote where I share some of his Introductory teachings at Deer Park. I feel this great loss, but his legacy remains in his students, books and our hearts. I have had the fortunate blessing to receive teachings and empowerments from the venerable Geshe Lhundub Sopa. I was deeply inspired by Geshe L. Sopa’s introductory teachings. I admit that these “lessons before the lessons” often held more meaning to me than the primary teachings. I was able then, … Continue reading

Can This Marriage Be Saved? (Or, Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?)

I spent a good part* of two days rewriting the start of my novel. (A novel I have already given a decade to). I took out all the backstory and started where the “story begins.” Still, it needed more work. Lots. I was telling instead of showing. (That “show don’t tell” principle of the craft). I was in the protagonists head way too much. And, the novel needed re-structuring. All these are part of the craft of writing. I was not born knowing these crafts. I have read dozens of books on how to write. Novels worth reading are obviously … Continue reading