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

Retreat Days at Thundering Clouds

My next open and free writing retreat day is Friday August 29th.  (I mistakenly posted that it was the 28th). This will be the last one this summer, although I am likely to offer one in September and October. Also, I am holding a sweat lodge & retreat day on Friday November 14th for 8 people. The theme is BECOMING & BELONGING. It is filling up fast (2 spots left). Please contact me if this is of interest to you. It will be a day of meditations, breathwork, explorations and a sweat lodge. There is a cost for this retreat.

What Now?

“Awe is What Moves Us Forward.”  Joseph Campbell When there is no more awe, no more wondering what could be next or what is possible, we may give up on life. I don’t know if this is what Robin Williams experienced. I have witnessed others so deep in their own darkness or depression they can’t see anything in front of them. This makes it hard to keep moving forward, to keep living. We have to have something to move toward. What helps you keep the awe alive? Many Buddhist teachers refer to this awe as a sacred curiosity. Last night … Continue reading