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

Don’t Apologize: Creating Worlds is a Big Job

Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, writers create worlds and help others to step into them. Writers and non-writers alike make meaning by the narrative we create around circumstances. Everything is storied. As writers we have the benefit of working out meaning and narrative on the page. We take this storied world and create more worlds for our readers and ourselves. We create more possibilities. We make sense from the senseless. A writer’s awareness and narration is dependent upon some understanding of who we are, what we want, and our intentions to write. As author Brad Schreiber shares in his … Continue reading

The Time of Rising Opportunity

“And yet I have put aside the hope of having the teaching prevail everywhere until the time of rising opportunity.” Dogen, “Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation” Most of us have heard: “When the student is ready the teacher will arrive.” So much in nature points to how there is a sacred timing to everything. Yet, timing is also something we don’t fully grasp. Or, it is a concept we have made up to structure our lives. We frame a lot of our life in an idea of “right timing.” Too often we are like leaves on the river, … Continue reading

The Way It Is

 A Ritual to Read to Each Other    If you don’t know the kind of person I am and you don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.   For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dyke.   And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail, but if one wanders the circus won’t … Continue reading

Zen Soup For The Writer

“The art of life, of a poet’s life, is, not having anything to do, to do something.”  –Henry David Thoreau Writing gives us something to do. “In every block of marble I see a statue as plane as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to other eyes as mine see it.”  –Michelangelo Writing reveals the story that is already there. “If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said … Continue reading

Gathering Together

“Our power as individuals is multiplied when we gather together as families, groups, and communities with common goals. It is our collective strength that makes positive change possible in the world.”  –Brain Browne Walker, Hexagram #45, Gathering Together As writers we need our tribe to support us in living a creative life. As authors we need our reader tribe. We are not in this alone, even though as we type away at a story or blog we do so on our own. I offer writing and Zero Point circles because everything wants to be round and in relationship. Everything comes … Continue reading