Category Archives for "Exercises"

Joy as an Agent of Social Change – Really?

My mentor James Baraz reminded me the other day of the wisdom of: Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Dr. Howard Thurman Dr. Thurman was as African-American minister, theologian, author, the co-founder of […]

“Love in Action”

The last public event I attended with friends in March 2020 was the screening of the film #Anne Frank: Parallel Stories, Helen Mirren reading excerpts from Anne’s diary from the attic (now a museum) where Anne and her family hid for 25 months from the Nazi occupation (and deportation of Jews) in Holland. Four days […]

A Challenging Perspective on Freedom for America’s Independence Day

As America prepares to celebrate its Independence Day tomorrow, it’s interesting to reflect on how our notions of freedom have had to evolve, and are still evolving. Our Constitution sought to protect the freedoms of its citizens in the early days of this country, as long as those citizens were white, male, and owners of […]

A Modest Hope for the Future in the Midst of So Much Uncertainty

We’re swimming in a lot of disconcerting and contradictory “news” these days, whether it’s yet safe to invite friends over for dinner, visit the dentist/hairdresser/local bar, return to school in the fall. And many of the “rules” we have trusted to be the safety nets of our personal, family, community, national, global lives seem to […]

Tiny Glimmers of Joy and Love Build Resilience, Too

Just when I was feeling a little bit more than weary, my friend Lee sent me the link to Tiny Piglet’s Whole World Changes When She Meets This Baby Cow. Was she kidding? Lee has sent me links to mindfulness teachers in Mexico and an interview with Jon Macaskill, Navy Seal director of Veteran’s PATH. […]

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Faster Than You Can Possibly Believe

When the European Union opens its borders tomorrow, within the E.U. and to foreign travelers, the United States may not be on the list of countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter. We haven’t controlled the coronavirus to levels of risk considered safe. (China, Uganda, Cuba, Vietnam, yes. The U.S., Russia, Brazil, no.) The […]

All We Hear Is Them-Us. Can’t We Find a Way to Put It Back Together?

My friend Gordy’s son was the drummer in this video documentary of All We Hear Is Them-Us by the cutting edge Chicago based hip hop-soul-jazz band Sidewalk Chalk. It’s a powerful message from extraordinarily talented and visionary young musicians – proclaiming the way out of the hatred and hostility so unmasked in our society at […]

No Mud, No Lotus

My friend Beth sent me the image above of the beautiful blue mushrooms growing out of the sludge in her trash compactor, headed for the compost heap. We both immediately thought of “No mud, no lotus,” the teachings of the venerable Zen Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh.  The beautiful lotus flower, symbol of awakening and […]

Let this young black woman’s voice be the one you listen to today…

Spoiler alert. This poem is a hard-hitting one. Raw, real, important for right now, not to turn away. Christabel Nunoo gives voice to the truth of the pain and anger of young black men and women today. Re-printed here with her permission. The back-story: Laurie, a member of my mindful self-compassion class years ago, has […]

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