The Paradox of Uncertainty

The Present   Much has been said about being in the present. It’s the place to be, according to the gurus, like the latest club on the downtown scene, but no one, it seems, is able to give you directions.   It doesn’t seem desirable or even possible to wake up every morning and begin leaping from one second into the next until you fall exhausted back into bed.   Plus, there’d be no past with so many scenes to savor and regret, and no future, the place you will die but not before flying around with a jet-pack.   … Continue reading

Tonight! Peacefully Demonstrate through Meditation

PEACEFULLY DEMONSTRATE your True Nature, touch the heart of reality through meditation and through daily practices of skillful means. I will be offering meditation practices that you can use to meet, move through, and host uncertainty and adversity. There are ways to hold space for our self and others so that we are not swept away from external negativity. We can make a difference, every day of our life, and we can build on the skillful means and wisdom that we all hold within ourselves. The practices will be on how to explore and have an emotion without surrendering to it … Continue reading

During Such Times, What Matters?

Many of my writerly friends and students have contacted me recently discouraged and confused. What does any of “this” matter?, they ask. “Who cares what I write about?” Besides, they claim, “my story is not unique.” Let me respond first with a personal story. I found myself looking in the mirror lately with dismay. I see an old woman.  At the core of me I know a truth: that I am aging, and that I am doing a fine job of it. With the awareness that all judgment involves projection I looked around me. What do I see when I look at others? Do … Continue reading

Gathering Together, Peaceful Demonstration & Skillful Means

“Among animals, it’s eat or be eaten. Among humans, it’s define or be defined.”  –Thomas Szasz   I am offering a free night of meditation and skillful means: Peaceful Demonstration through Meditation & Skillful Means There are ways to hold space for our self and others so that we are not swept away from external negativity. We can make a difference, every day of our life, and we can build on the skillful means and wisdom that we all hold within ourselves. PEACEFULLY DEMONSTRATE your True Nature, touch the heart of reality through meditation and through daily practices of skillful means. I will be offering … Continue reading

Dear Friend,

I had a blog written on uncertainty. But can’t seem to post it. Here is what I have, from my heart to yours: “Life happens on so many levels, simultaneously. It’s very hard at times to hold all of it in a life-giving way… Yesterday, my brother-in-law died. I grieve for my sister and her children who have lost a husband and a father. Yesterday, something that feels like a death to me happened in this country—something contrary to values I hold dear, values at the heart of this country’s unending quest for democracy. Life must go on. The quest for democracy must … Continue reading

Our Bridges to the World: The Art of Being & Writing

“You can perish in the famine of your own making.”  John O Donohue, Anam Cara Great scenes are like our souls––both depend heavily on the emotions and senses to reveal their true story. What is going on in a scene within our life or on the page needs an awareness and expression of our emotions. To write and live authentically means to be listening to the soul and “the body makes the senses thresholds of the soul.” (John O Donohue, Anam Cara) “A renewal, indeed a complete transfiguration of your life, can come through attention to you senses. Your senses are … Continue reading

Late Bloomers and Broken Trees

On most mornings I get in three rituals, so when I lay my head down at night I feel I have done well in self care. These three rituals attend to mind, body and soul. First, I meditate and hold a conversation with my Great Friend, then I write a bit,… and before morning gets too late I am on my (power) walk to the broken tree. If the morning doesn’t afford me time for all three, I find a way to do my walk before the sun sets.   The broken tree is my “turn around” point on my walk. … Continue reading

How to Begin Again. . . and Again by guest blogger Rebekah Young

After seven months away from writing my novel, I re-joined Julie’s monthly writing circle ready to begin again. I’d finally finished the first draft on Christmas Eve, 2015. The next step was clear: spend the next year writing the second draft. Julie uses the analogy of climbing a mountain to frame our approach to our writing and writing circle. We were at the base camp, about to begin our climb. What’s our intentions as we begin this journey? What keeps us going? What do we need to complete the climb? I laced up my hiking boots and charted my course, excited and … Continue reading

Love after Love

The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life. –Derek Walcott, … Continue reading

The Survival of Art and The Tailor from Aleppo by guest blogger Caroline Oldershaw

Despite the fact that a current candidate for President of the United States asked “what’s Aleppo?” when asked about his Middle East policies – I will assume that most of us know – if nothing else – that Syrian people are leaving their homeland to escape violence, destruction, privation, and death. According to the Migration Policy Centre, “an estimated 11 million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of the civil war in March 2011. Now, in the sixth year of war, 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance within the country. Among those escaping the conflict, the … Continue reading