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.