Saturday, December 31, 2011

good bye 2011

(mijo drinking from the faucet)

Differences in religious beliefs, politics, social status, and position are all secondary. When we look at someone with compassion, we are able to see beyond these secondary differences and connect to the primary essence that binds all humans together as one.

HH Dalai Lama

I'm looking for something different in 2012. Something uplifting, encouraging, connecting, healing. Something that brings us together rather than tearing us apart.

I'm hoping we find that primary essence HHDL talks about.

As far as differences go, I'm hoping that we only see them in order not to be bored with each other. That we see our differences as exciting and fun and interesting.

Time to start celebrating different. And perhaps, celebrating differently, as well.

Good bye 2011. Don't forget to kiss me before you leave.

But you, Beloved, you can stay. I have enjoyed spending this year with you. We can kiss all the time...if you like.

Friday, December 30, 2011

spa day

More later....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

love thursday 12.29.11 ~ the last love thursday of 2011

(another manger shot)

If the house of the world is dark,
Love will find a way to create windows.


We need more windows. Today was dark. Really dark. Windy, rainy, gray. At 3:00 in the afternoon, I thought it was 5:00. I closed the kitty door and declared outside off limits for the remainder of the evening.

At 10:00, it was 55 degrees and balmy. And HoneyBoy was desperate to get outside. Too bad, my friend. Tomorrow will be soon enough.

As I was sweeping up a broken plate and all the cookies that had been on it, I realized that saying good bye to 2011 will not be heartbreaking for me. I'm looking forward to 2012. A new beginning.

Perhaps new windows will open.

And perhaps I will be even better at love for no reason at all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

massage day

To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

I'm casting off chains today. By the time my massage is over, I hope to be free of some pain.

May the Beloved guide you to freedom today, too--and walk there with you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


We are all, by nature, clearly oriented toward the basic human values of love and compassion. We all prefer the love of others to their hatred. We all prefer others’ generosity to meanness. And who is there among us who does not prefer tolerance, respect and forgiveness of our failings to bigotry, disrespect, and resentment?

HH Dalai Lama

I just finished watching the movie The Help. I hear it has mixed reviews. Ordinary people love it. Film afficianados have varying degrees of like/dislike for it. Whatever.

The movie moved me. As far as I am concerned, that is what story telling is about.

Set during the Civil Rights movement era, the movie is about black maids in Jackson, Mississippi. The movie shows reveals the relationships and how they take a backseat to the customs and expectations of the culture in the south.

Clearly, the customs were not based on the teachings of the Dalai Lama.

I do not...cannot understand how people can be so unkind to others. I do not and cannot understand how differences in race, religion, or politics make some people think they have the right to be unkind--no...downright mean to others. I. Do. Not. Get. It.

Ignorance can be corrected. Mean-spiritedness? Maybe not.

Perhaps I have had too many lifetimes as the underdog. Perhaps I have had enough experiences in this lifetime of being misunderstood, misinterpreted, and denigrated to be willing to put up with bad behavior on the part of those who think they are better.

I know I have my own blind spots and ignorance. I am willing to learn. I am willing to change.

I am not willing to be mean just because someone is different. Are you?

Monday, December 26, 2011

let's bring them all home

Wherever they are...

Let's turn them all into princes [and princesses] of peace.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas

(doesn't he take a great closeup?)

For us, as people sitting here meditating, as people wanting to live a good, full, unrestricted, adventurous, real kind of life, there is concrete instruction that we can follow, which is the one we have been following all along in meditation: see what is. Acknowledge it without judging it as right or wrong. See it clearly without judgment and let it go. Come back to the present moment.

From now until the moment of your death, you could do this. As a way of becoming more compassionate, as way of becoming less dogmatic, prejudiced, determined to have your own way, absolutely sure that you’re right and the other person is wrong, as a way to develop a sense of humor, to lighten it up, open it up, you could do this.

Pema Chodron

Today is Christmas. I will call it that and say "Merry" to you. If you want to say "Happy Holidays" that's okay with me. If you want to wish me Happy Hannukah or Joyous Kwanzaa or something else, I will accept those greetings, too. I appreciate good wishes in all forms.

We don't have to believe in the same language for what is good. We just need to believe in good. More than that, we need to behave in a way that is good.

Not everyone who comes here believes the way I do. That's okay. Thanks for coming.

Not everyone who comes here shares my politics. That's okay. Thanks for coming.

What we do share is a common humanity and a desire to see and do good in the world. I like that. Thanks for coming.

In the dark that is winter, we need more light. Whether on our Christmas tree, in a menorrah, contained in a bonfire or fireplace to warm our bones, we need it. We crave it.

We also have light within each one of us. May yours shine bright and may mine help light the path we walk together.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

happy christmas eve

Whatever holiday you celebrate...

Whatever religion you follow...or not...

One thing we all need is Love...

May the blessings of this season
rain down on you and yours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

a kiss he'll never forget

I gotta tell ya...

...this brought tears to my eyes:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

love thursday 12.22.11 ~ some christmas love

God rest ye merry, gentlemen and ladies...and everyone else, too.

May you have Comfort and Joy today and every day...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

cat's life at my house

On the journey of the warrior-bodhisattva, the path goes down, not up, as if the mountain pointed toward the earth instead of the sky. Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move toward turbulence and doubt however we can. We explore the reality and unpredictability of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away. If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes, we let it be as it is. At our own pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down. With us move millions of others, companions in awakening from fear.

Pema Chodron

And sometimes...we sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

furry toes

Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.


Speaking of snow...look at those big furry toes. Those are Mijo's toes. He is Manx and part Siberian (I think). Both breeds have fur between their toes to help deal with the cold ground. The extra fur acts like snow boots and keeps the pads from freezing.

Perhaps having genes from two cold continents gives him a double dose of hair. He weighs about 18 pounds now by our sometimes not very accurate scale--hence the size of the feet.

Siberians grow until they are 5. He is now 2 1/2. Some of that breed grow to 25 pounds.

Oh, I hope not.

Monday, December 19, 2011

relief = space

For fast-acting relief try slowing down.

Lily Tomlin

That's what my Sunday looked like. I never got dressed--wore my pajamas all day. A friend stopped by to pick something up. I put on a vest and a hat. That constitutes properly covered in my book.

I puttered. I got things done. My progress resembled erosion more than tectonic plate shifts.

When I putter I circle. I work a while in one room, take a newly sorted pile to a different room to put it away, find a task in the second room, move back to the first, taking small bites of the project in each room as I go. By the end of the day, an observer can see the difference. In any given 10 minute segment, the mess looks worse--not better.

Yet, I persevere. Give away. Throw away. Store. Move stuff that is no longer useful where it is. Make room for the new. Make room to breathe. Make room just because space feels better than stuff.

Doing it while slowing down makes even more space--inside and out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

10 things about Saturday

10. I am grumpy.

9. I worked--actually went to the office...on Saturday.

8. I tasted the eggnog...twice.

7. My new computer will be here next week. Yes, I did it.

6. Continued on my clean up campaign by deleting all the "unavailable" titles from my Blockbuster queue. ( counts!)

5. Forgot to unload the kitty litter from the trunk...again.

4. We have 3 new plug-ins: two switched and one direct...ergo, fewer extension cords.

3. Didn't look at my To Do List once. Still got a lot done. Maybe next time I look, I can cross some things off.

2. Still no inkling about my word for next year. (Deb is right: two years of "Beloved" would be all right.)

1. I truly am blessed...grumpy and all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

this post has nothing to do with the picture

(aren't they cute?)

Today, Friday, I have a list...

Take the papers to the shredder.

Take the computer to the repair shop (yes, again--the same problem is baaaaaaaaaaack).

Shop for a new computer. (I give. I can't afford the down time or the frustration.)

Buy kitty litter...and cat food.

Have lunch with a friend.

Lord, have mercy...please.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

love thursday 12.15.11 ~ away in a manger OR the prince of peace

(he wrapped himself in swaddling clothes
and tucked himself in the manger--
okay...he cuddled in a blanket on the couch)

Beg our Lord to grant you perfect love for your neighbor… If someone else is well spoken of, be more pleased than if it were yourself… Force your will, as far as possible, to comply in all things with others’ wishes although sometimes you may lose your own rights by doing so. Forget your self-interests for theirs, however much nature may rebel.

Teresa of Avila

'Tis the season for giving. Oh, that our leaders would listen to this. It is not about winning and losing. It is about taking care of each other. Time to put away selfish things and power plays...please.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Pain, as dramatically presented in the message of the cross, tells us about the high price of change. Real change never comes easily. It always feels like dying. All we can really do is get out of the way by not being so defensive, so overprotective of our opinions, our nation, our religion, our gender. These are just labels, and they are all passing away.

All we can really do is to stop stopping the natural process of growth, and trust a larger purpose.

In all of the natural world, everything is dying to become something else. Why would we be any exception? Just watch the solids, liquids, and vapors. Just watch the animals giving their lives for another species. Just watch the trees and plants creating soil itself by losing their leaves and dying for another season. Just watch the sun that is in the process of dying so all things here can live. It is the pattern of the universe, and we alone try to sit it out.

Richard Rohr

"G0-Back Road" is not an option. Since change is the only constant, I have decided to make peace with it. Okay...I'm working on making peace with it.

I notice how cranky I get when I can't buy the same products I've always used. Or the place I like to eat has changed the recipe. Or Facebook makes another stupid change (...I said I'm working on it). I do notice.

Ah, yes. Yet another application for "Love For No Reason at All." Peace and equanimity in the face of unwanted, unexpected, misunderstood change seems a lot like love to me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

change for a dollar

(just look how much you can get)

Monday, December 12, 2011

things i noticed this weekend...

...when I watch movies I need subtitles--even for the ones in English...American English.

...I put up the Christmas tree. I spent quite a bit of time getting all the lights in the string to work. I put them on the tree. Half went out. takes an extraordinary amount of time to save a few bucks by fixing the stuff that doesn't work. spite of the fact that I got a lot done this weekend, I didn't mark much off my list.

...I have far more attachments to how my prayers get answered than I really want to own up to.

..."freezing fog" is bone-chilling, foot-cicle cold.

...when the floor crunches as you walk on it, it is time to sweep. hair looks great...just in time to go to bed.

...sometimes two pair of back-up glasses is not enough--one in the shop with a broken temple; the other popped a lens out and I will never see the screw again.

...I rubbed the bump off the F on my keyboard. Mom says it's because I use the F-word so much.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

23 1/2 hours

Not really news, but good information and...

I love these animations....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

whatever happened to live and let live?

To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

I remember when people would defend other's right to be different from themselves. What happened? When did we start deciding that one system of beliefs must be perpetrated on everyone?

Isn't pursuit of happiness one of my inalienable rights? I can tell you now that what makes me happy doesn't make everyone happy. And what makes them happy would...well, it would make me want to poke my eyes out.

Freedom to pursue fashion!

God help us all.

Friday, December 09, 2011

i care

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all--the apathy of human beings.

Helen Keller

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting pictures much lately. It's not that I don't care. Apathy and inertia are not the same.

It's cold. I've been busy. I'm breaking out of my rut.

Every day I make myself get out of my chair and do something. I'm making a list and checking it twice--not for naughty and nice, but for all the things that have been piling up around my ears while I have not had the energy or inclination to do them.

I'm still in "clean up and throw away" mode. I try to get rid of something every day--even if it is the junk mail that came in that day. If I am not deleting piles, I am preventing piles forming. Every little bit helps.

I put up the Christmas lights because SO loves them so...and I love SO. I checked all the strings to make sure they worked before I put them up. I plugged them in to see my handiwork and half of several strings didn't work. So the next day I re-hung the Christmas lights.

I run more errands than I ever knew it was possible for one person to need to do. I fix things that break--lately, an almost daily occurrence. I blow the leaves off the deck and driveway and help SO with the garden. I go to work. I break the suction and keep moving, trying to stay productive.

I haven't been taking pictures. The energy hasn't moved me in that direction lately.

Some day...I feel it coming.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

love thursday 12.08.11 ~ rest in peace, harry morgan

In today's deeply interdependent world, war is outdated and illogical. All regions, and all peoples, are interconnected environmentally, economically, and politically. War, oppression or civil strife in one area inevitably affects people in other parts of the world.

HH Dalai Lama

I loved M*A*S*H and Colonel Potter was the best of the best--

(Happy birthday, Dad. I hope you are resting in peace, too.)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

enough said...

One cannot be aware both of the history of Christian war and of the contents of the gospels without feeling that something is amiss.

Wendell Berry

from his introduction to
Blessed are the Peacemakers

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

for the days when i wonder if it all matters....

No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.

Phillips Brooks
American Bishop

Sunday, December 04, 2011

deck the halls

I love me some flash mob:

...falalalala lalalala!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

anything you want to say?

I have been writing a long time and have learned some things, not only from my own long hard work, but from a writing class I had for three years. In this class were all kinds of people: prosperous and poor, stenographers, housewives, salesmen, cultivated people and little servant girls who had never been to high school, timid people and bold ones, slow and quick ones. This is what I learned: that everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say.

Brenda Ueland

And as Anne Lamott says,

Write really shitty first drafts.

I've got that one covered.

Friday, December 02, 2011

friday inspiration

One day your heart will take you to your lover.
One day your soul will carry you to the Beloved.
Don't get lost in your pain –
Know that one day your pain will become your cure.


My mom sent this and told me to show it to HoneyBoy. I also want to share it with you:

Have a wonderful weekend. May you be blessed.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

love thursday 12.01.11 ~ come out, come out...whoever you are

If you keep listening to the love, if you keep receiving the love, trusting the love—even with all your limitations, unworthiness, limited intellect, or whatever you feel holds you back—you start to experience within yourself a sense of possibility. Whatever life is inviting you into, you have this sense that it’s okay and, even better, that you can do it! That is the joy of the saints. Now you don’t have to do it by the world’s criteria of success or performance. As Mother Teresa loved to say, “The only real success is faithfulness.” To be faithful to this inner love is in itself the greatest success. It is of itself the possibility. No outer successes are necessary to be happy.

This is what makes the mystics sort of dangerous. It’s not just possibility they experience—but permission. It’s permission to color outside the lines and to be who you really are. It’s not just gay people who have to come out of their closets. We’re all in our closets. They’ve just given us a good metaphor for what we all have to do. We’re all afraid to come out of our various closets. It’s not the need to be outrageous or rebellious. It’s so much better than that. It’s just permission to be that image and likeness of God that you really are. You are unlike any other image or likeness. It is as if God is saying, “I’m expecting you to return to me simply and totally as you really are!”

Richard Rohr

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.

Maya Angelou

And the human heart to hear them. Those who wield them well--Maya Angelou for one, and many of you who come here to visit--open my heart and encourage me to keep trying...even when words don't come easy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

10 things about monday...good news and less good news

1. Had a hard time finding something to wear to work.

2. Finally got dressed and made my breakfast drink. Managed to pour it down my front.

3. Good news is, I found something else to wear.

4. Other good news is, I had been wearing a red shirt and khaki pants. Changed to a white shirt. This is good because I had to go to Target.

5. Got to the office. No heat.

6. Also in the office, a huge growing wet spot in the ceiling.

7. Good news is the building manager answered his phone.

8. Lost the key to the mailbox.

9. Good news is, I have an extra.

10. I finished the dark chocolate peanut M&Ms..

...and that is both good and bad news all in one.

Monday, November 28, 2011

another monday

The great commandment is not "Thou shalt be right." Instead, the great commandment is, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Richard Rohr

Where has the year gone? Another Monday arrives. Only four more in 2011.

What's your favorite day of the week...and why? Mine is Saturday. The weekend is beginning, another full day of sabbath before Monday arrives. Ahh...yes!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

well said, marcus...well said

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, November 26, 2011

the peeps are home

Now I can rest. All is well.

Friday, November 25, 2011

traveling mercies

Going home today. They're waiting for us.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

love thursday 11.24.11 ~ thanksgiving

Unless we do change our whole way of thought about work, I do not think we shall ever escape from the appalling squirrel-cage of economic confusion in which we have been madly turning for the last three centuries or so, the cage in which we landed ourselves by acquiescing in a social system based upon envy and avarice.

Dorothy L. Sayers

I am thankful that this guy is still with us...and if you are reading, I am glad you are still with me, too.

Happy Thanksgiving! I pray you have much to be thankful for. When we see what we have, rather than being caught in our greed, it looks like so much more.

May you be blessed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

may you all be so blessed

(kliban's cat)

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

John Muir

And this guy has plenty of all of those.

Friday, November 18, 2011


We have different degrees of happiness and different kinds of suffering. Material objects give rise to physical happiness, while spiritual development gives rise to mental happiness. Since we experience both physical and mental happiness, we need both material and spiritual development. This is why, for our own good and that of society we need to balance material progress with inner development.

HH Dalai Lama

And HoneyBoy is happy that he got up there all by himself. His mobility is improving. Fortunately, he can not (yet) jump on the kitchen counters. May he regain the ability...not the desire.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

love thursday 11.17.11 ~ the year of beloved

Oh Beloved,
Take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.


Some days I think we are almost there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

teach your children well...

(we're ready for our make up, mr. demille...)

I mean, isn’t it great that high school students in some inner-city area will greet me as I walk in as though I were a pop star? That is so amazing, because they’ve got out of what I’ve done a message of hope. And the fact that our main message is, “You make a difference every day. You matter. Your life is important.” This is why they want to come to my lectures. And I’ve met many people who say, “Well, I was really depressed, and a friend said, ’You’ve got to go and hear Jane.’” And they come up in the book-signing line, which can be three hours long, and say, “I’m not as optimistic as you, but at least I now realize my life has more value than I thought, and I’m going to do my bit.” That’s what we need, isn’t it?

Jane Goodall

Jane, you are a rock star! What an amazing woman and wonderful life. Oh, to have the energy she has. I'd rather meet her than Mick Jagger any day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


(see the one on the right?)

(this is the same one)
When the culture of an organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals, you can be certain that shame is systemic, money drives ethics, and accountability is dead.

Brené Brown

Today I heard a story that leaves me slack-jawed.

A minister of Christian denomination X visited another church of denomination X.0 (same general denomination but a variation on that theme). While attending the service, he took communion. Seems the "Body of Christ" thing to do...right?

Apparently, denomination X doesn't think so. If you are of this denomination, you are not to take communion from Y, Z, or X-point-anything. Only communion by a minister from denomination X is "kosher" (pardon the borrowing of the term) for ministers of denomination X.

Someone reported him to the powers that be. The powers suspended him from the pulpit leaving him without a job (or paycheck) and leaving the church without a pastor.

Say what?

These are people who follow Jesus--the Jewish one who ate and with tax collectors and prostitutes and people off the street...Gentiles and Jews. People of different religions--not just different denominations.

And then I read this well written piece: Bishops Behaving Badly. Go ahead and check it out. I'll wait.


Richard Rohr's daily meditations lately focus on mysticism--the spirituality that is about relationship with God...something that Jesus said we all have.

Mystical experiences also lead to a sense of safety. Anybody who has ever loved you well or has felt loved by you always feels safe. If you can’t feel safe with a person, you can’t feel loved by them. You can’t trust their love. If, in the presence of God, you don’t feel safe, then I don’t think it’s God—it’s something else. It’s the god that is not God. It’s probably what Meister Eckhart is referring to when he says, “I pray God to free me from God.” He means that the God we all begin with is necessarily a partial God, an imitation God, a word for God, a “try on” God. But as you go deeper into the journey, I promise you, it will always be safer and more spacious. If you still feel a finger wagging at you, you’re not going deeper. You’re going backwards.

Richard Rohr

Some people still believe that "undermining" religion is a Communist plot and that getting people to accept anything outside of one-man-one-woman marriage (this includes co-habitation by unmarried heterosexuals) is part of their strategy to take down America. I kid you not.

Jesus was far more tolerant than that.

As Rev. Susan Russell states in the Bishops article, America was founded on the principle of freedom of religion, which also includes freedom from religion if people so choose. It doesn't get any more Christian or mystical than that.

So come on people...

Live by the constitution of the country you say you love.

Trust the God you say you trust.

Grow up...for God's sake...and our own.

Monday, November 14, 2011


The most lovable quality any human being can possess is tolerance.... It is the vision that enables one to see things from another’s viewpoint.... It is the generosity that concedes to others the right to their own opinions and their own peculiarities... It is the bigness that enables us to let people be happy in their own way instead of our way.


I am disturbed and perturbed. I know that politics is not for the faint of heart--or any other body part. I know that tolerance is a virtue and I am willing to tolerate disparate points of view.

What disturbs and perturbs me are lies. You can make up your own opinion, but you don't get to make up the facts.

I see quotations used to further political agendas attributed to sources that are not likely to have said those words. Other like-minded individuals pick up the words attributed to the famous person and spread them around. Now, "notable 100 year old person" is quoted on numerous sites saying something he is not likely to have said, let alone thought. BUT the words support the mindset of a political stripe, so now they have a rallying cry attributable to "notable 100 year old person." If it is attributed to him, it (both the words and the attribution) must be true!

People...give me a break. Stop using fear on me. Stop making up facts to support your control issues. Stop attributing words, motives, and blame to everyone else.

Give me actual information and let me decide for myself. I will respect your right to your opinion even when we disagree. I only wish that your viewpoint could make you happy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


(the boys are learning to hang out together)
We are given a natural way to reconnect with God every day in creation. And it doesn’t depend on getting a degree in philosophy or theology. It depends on being present!

Richard Rohr

Right here. Right now.

Since HoneyBoy's accident, we encourage the boys to come in at dusk rather than whenever they choose. As the days become moist and breezy, shorter and grayer, they tend not to go outside much at all.

Such smart boys.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

the next day

Caught by our own thoughts,
we worry about everything.
But once we get drunk on that Love
Whatever will be, will be.


We made it through 10/28 and 11/11. Today and tomorrow seem like one more day. I wonder what 12/21/12 will bring.

My nose has dandruff from blowing it so much. I am guessing that things will look brighter on all fronts once I am through the Fall cold.

And how did we ever come to call them "colds"? I was thinking about that last night. what do you think? If you know, tell me. If you don't...make something up!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Peace is not an absence of war. It is a virtue, state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.

Baruch de Spinoza

To all who have served, in war and peace, thank you.

Upon your return home, may you find peace...

...peace of mind...

...benevolence from all of us...


...and justice.

I honor and salute you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

love thursday 11.10.11 ~ everybody loves something

If we were to ask the Buddha, “What is bodhichitta?” he might tell us that this word is easier to understand than to translate. Chitta means “mind” and also “heart” or “attitude.” Bodhi means “awake,” “enlightened,” or “completely open.” Sometimes the completely open heart and mind of bodhichitta is called the soft spot, a place as vulnerable and tender as an open wound. It is equated, in part, with our ability to love. Even the cruelest people have this soft spot. Even the most vicious animals love their offspring. As Trungpa Rinpoche put it, “Everybody loves something, even if it’s only tortillas.

Pema Chodron

from The Places That Scare You

I wish you could have seen the moon from my place last night. A huge glow encircled the full moon. Venus glowed at 4:00 on the dial. You can barely see the arc at the top of the picture above, but the ring was distinct all the way around.

Sometimes I think about how we are all looking at the same moon. I know that is cliché, but Truth is what makes clichés what they are.

Come to think about it...

...the ring reminded me of a tortilla.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

contemplate that, i will...

(...said yoda)
The contemplative life is about becoming more contemplative all the time. It is about being in the world differently. What needs to be changed in us? Anything that deludes us into thinking that we are not simply a work in progress, all of whose degrees, status, achievements, and power are no substitute for the wisdom that a world full of God everywhere, in everyone, has to teach us.

Joan Chittister

Illuminated Life

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

something for sharing

Kelly Rae is on a kindness mission.

I'm in.

You can print yours here.

Monday, November 07, 2011

wisdom worth sharing

How much more important it is to refrain from evil speech, remembering what such sins bring down on us in punishment. In fact so important is it to cultivate silence. After all, it is written in scripture that one who never stops talking cannot avoid falling into sin. Another text in the same book reminds us that the tongue holds the key to death and life.

Saint Benedict of Nursia

Now, if we could get certain public figures to hear this, things might begin to change. I find myself holding my tongue a lot these days. I'm not always pure of speech; however, I do aspire in that direction.

I am understanding on a deeper level the connectedness of us all, and what I say about "them" comes back to me in one form or another. If I am going to get what I give, I'll choose my words more carefully.

Sometimes, I notice in reading posts on Facebook and blogs that some authors appear to have spiritual aspirations. In the next post, they are cursing someone or denigrating the political party they disagree with. I'm not talking about disagreement. I am talking about mudslinging and character assassinations. I notice. Then I notice the disconnect I experience between the spiritual aspirations in one post and the political derogation by that same author's next post. I don't want to go there.

I'll take the high road--even if that means saying nothing.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

welcome to standard time

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Martin Niemöller,

German theologian and pastor


I hope you remembered to fall back...but not too far.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

what are you praying?

The foundation of everything that we're saying here is that the words of prayers themselves are not the prayers. While the words may be beautiful, ancient and time-honored relics, they're simply the catalysts to unleash a force. And the force is within you! 'You' is the operative word here. Just as the code in a computer sets a series of events into motion, our words trigger feelings in our bodies. But neither the code nor the words have any power until they're given meaning. For the code, it's the computer's operating system; for our words, it's our feelings.

Gregg Braden

Secret of the Lost Mode of Prayer (Page 180)

Friday, November 04, 2011

i think god is a kitten

( love)

Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

love thursday 11.03.11 ~ my own heart

(banana after a couple nights of frost...
greenhouse waiting to be placed)

My Beloved grows
right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be.


Perhaps Rumi's truth here is the key to finding solutions to all that ails us. So many of us spend so much time out of touch with ourselves, how can we possibly find the union that we seek with others.

The mirror is only arm's length away. Do you see the Beloved in its frame?

I hope you do.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

jefferson smith for mayor

(the crescent moon on 11.1.11...
through my phone's crappy camera)

The earth has salt. You are some of it.

Jefferson Smith

in response to his recent request for small campaign checks

If any of you are from Portland, check out my friend, Jefferson Smith. He is running for mayor. For the rest of you, check him out anyway. One of these days, he will be running for President.

That's right...POTUS.

Mark my words. Mr. Smith will go to Washington. Oh, yes. He will.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

all saints day ~11.1.11

(painted church in hawaii)

If you do not transform your pain, you will transmit it.

Richard Rohr

My favorite saints are St. Damian (whose statue resides here at Painted Church) and St. Francis of Assissi.

May you be surrounded by all the saints today.

Monday, October 31, 2011

what's next?

In case you were wondering, here are a couple articles about what comes next in the Mayan Calendar and earth transformation. Of course, what we are looking at here are two interpretations. No definitive answer or model exists.

I find them both quite interesting:

Integration: From 10.28.11 to 11.11.11 and Beyond


Mayan Majix.

Oh...and...Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

to a new time...

This bears repeating...

The lie is that we are separate. The only way to the Truth is great love or great suffering.

Richard Rohr

Friday, October 28, 2011

the divided brain

I mistakenly said that yesterday was the last day of the 7th Day of the Mayan Calendar. I have since corrected that error in the post.

Today is the end.

Perhaps, it will be the beginning of a new way of looking at things. Perhaps, we need to stop dividing everything.

What a concept! All is part of the gift. All parts are the gift. All is the gift.

We are it. What are we going to do?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

love thursday 10.27.11 ~ choose love

There are two paths: Great Love and Great Suffering.

Richard Rohr

Since it is Thursday, let's choose love.

AND...tomorrow is the last day of the 7th Day of the Mayan Calendar. Love is what's next.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

i don't usually do wordless wednesday, but this kind of fit

Living without speaking is better than speaking without living. For a person who lives rightly helps us by silence, while one who talks too much annoys us. If, however, words and life go hand in hand, it is the perfection of all philosophy.

Isidore of Pelusium

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

guess who...

"Whoever says, ‘I am in the light’, while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling."

1 John 2:9-10

Does that sound like love for no reason at all to you?

I thought so.

Monday, October 24, 2011

it's monday everywhere

A fly is just as likely to land on a pile of shit as a piece of pie.

Carrie Fisher

(via her grandmother)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

my day of labor

(artichoke in cold frame for the winter)

Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, October 22, 2011


(kind of looks like a picasso...
don't you think?)

My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope." Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.

Pablo Picasso

Friday, October 21, 2011

it's not easy being green

When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.

Bayard Rustin

Just ask Kermit...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

love thursday 10.20.11 ~ kindness never goes out of date

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love…
Perfect kindness acts without thinking of kindness.

Laozi 570-490 BCE

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

what's the point?

I can't slow down. If we're not raising new generations to be better stewards of the environment, what's the point?

Jane Goodall

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

'tis the season

I don't quite have the macro figured out on my phone's camera, but you get the drift.

Plenty of Halloween decorations around here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

shredded shredder

I've been on a tear around here trying to get rid of stuff. I'm back on my "throw, sell, or give away at least one thing a day" path. It feels good. I am clearing out and paring down. You'd never believe it if you saw my office and my closet--heck...the whole house. But, hey--progress is progress.

That's the good news.

As I was shredding receipts and papers from 2000, the paper shredder crapped out. No other words work.

I figured that since it no longer ingested what I was feeding, I might as well take it apart. If I could fix it--great! If I couldn't or couldn't get it put back together (since that is usual for me), nothing was lost. It doesn't work anyway.

So I dug in. I unscrewed the cover. Taking it apart was easy. Putting it back together was easy. However, the gear teeth that made the paper feed through broke off the wheel. Completely disassociated. How do metal teeth break off a wheel like that?


Sigh. Another business write-off.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

what if that were a spaceship...would you feel fear?

(and for bonus points, tell me in the
comments what you think it is)

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I am gaining strength, courage, and confidence daily, apparently. If my experience of the 7th Day so far is what we have to look forward to, I think we are in for some deep shit.

So, my friends, tell me of the lightness of your 7th Day experience. Let's lift our hope together.

Friday, October 14, 2011

it is time

(i didn't take this pic. i don't know who did or i would give credit.)

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.

William Ewart Gladstone

Thursday, October 13, 2011

love thursday 10.13.11 ~ no reason at all

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Frederick Douglass

What a sweet little girl!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

random thoughts from the first day of the seventh day

1. "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (I Timothy 6:10 NAS). It pisses me off when people misquote that verse. Money isn't the issue--greed is.

2. If corporations are people, they are sociopaths who should be locked up and have the key thrown away so they can't continue to harm real people. They are amoral at best, but give the immoral greedy a convenient facade to hide behind.

3. If the financial collapse is part of the new beginning, I hope either (a) I get my financial data back from the computer guy before it happens, or (b) the collapse happens in such a way that I no longer need it.

4. On the first night of the first day of the 7th Day of the Mayan calendar, the full moon is in Aries--new fiery beginnings.

5. I am getting my workout at loving for no reason at all. I hope I get this down pat soon so new opportunities don't have to keep presenting themselves.

6. Unity consciousness--within and without. I saw a picture on Facebook of two men in love; under that a picture of a man and a woman in love; under that a picture of two women in love. The caption read, "I don't see a difference." Part of the issue is owning the masculine and feminine in each of us and in ourselves. We are all one.

7. How can someone be "pro-life" (anti-abortion) and for war and capital punishment?

8. How can someone be pro-life and anti-education, health care, and social services?

9. In my efforts to take the high road and rise above pettiness, I refrain from slinging hurtful words to those who sling them at me. I expand. I rise above--even when I am blamed for "making them feel" whatever is causing them to lash out. The tip of my tongue hangs by a flap of skin. May they be blessed--and me, too.

10. But God...really? Do I have to be one with the assholes?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

blackbird at night

Whatever God does, the first outburst is always compassion.

Meister Eckhart

Welcome to the first day of the 7th Day of the Mayan calendar:

The dawn of a new time will rise up through all consciousness as we birth a world that can only survive in complete truth, sacredness, peace, love, harmony, respect and humility.

No one knows what happens next. I'm hoping they're right.

Monday, October 10, 2011

blackbird in the rain

Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Thomas Moore

Sunday, October 09, 2011

what do you mean i'm not supposed to sit here? it has my name on it.

We have real difficulty here because everyone thinks of changing the world, but where, oh where, are those who think of changing themselves?

Richard Foster

Saturday, October 08, 2011

the sky today from where i sit

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.

David Carradine

Friday, October 07, 2011

is it friday yet?

Thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives.


I have no words of my own for you today. Be thankful and visit the Beloved. Perhaps I'll see you there.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

love thursday 10.06.11 ~ i love this rug

I can't stop pointing to the beauty. Every moment and place says, "Put this design in your carpet!"

Jalaludin Rumi

...and that boy. (But you knew that part.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

new heaven and new earth

I add my breath to your breath
that our days be long on the Earth,
that the days of our people may be long,
that we shall be as one person,
that we may finish our road together.

Laguna Pueblo Prayer

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

my favorite rainy day activity is...

[Please fill in the blank.]

Monday, October 03, 2011

sympathy for delicious

Delicious movie. Two thumbs up.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

the lion sleeps tonight

They disabled video embedding on this, but it is worth clicking the link.

Made me smile. Hope you do, too.

Friday, September 30, 2011

ben goldacre: battling bad science

While I don't agree with everything he has to say, he makes some really good points about how research is skewed for financial gain by the pharmaceutical industry. Worth watching.

On the other hand, these are not the only valid research methods and "hard science" isn't always so clear cut. Anecdotal evidence is also worth noting.

Only those with LOTS of money can perform the kind of control group studies that he discusses--and get them published.