October 17, 2011 - 5:39pm
I was once in a workshop with celeb-yogi extraordinaire Sadie Nardini, and she asked us a question that really stuck with me. I’m going to paraphrase here:
“If you could tell the world one thing–just one thing, and it would be up there in the sky in every city trailing behind a huge jet or something, and every single person in the world would look up and really, like really read it, what would it say? What one thing would you tell the whole world?”
Think about it for a minute...
October 17, 2011 - 3:12pm
I’ve been giving a few interviews lately. This one, I am told, will not be published, so I am publishing it. I am keeping the interviewer’s name out of it as per his request.
Rumor is that you find Judaism too narrow for your tastes, and too small to hold your spiritual experiences. When did you stop being a Jew?
A Jew can’t stop being a Jew any more than a Chinese person can stop being Chinese or a Navaho stop being Navaho. I was born Jewish and I will die Jewish, and I am...
October 14, 2011 - 6:19am
I am a full-time single mother of three children. I have been divorced for five years now. Until now, I really haven’t met somebody that I could give my all to. Then, I met a guy who is also a full-time single parent with three kids. Our boys are on the same team and are best friends. We became close friends. Then we ended up as chaperones on a weekend field trip and realized there was more potential to our relationship than friendship.
When we returned, we talked ...
October 12, 2011 - 6:42pm
By Joan Phillips
This week opens with a full moon on the 12th, and four days later, on the birthday of the 18th-century American educator, lexicographer, and prolific author Noah Webster (of Merriam-Webster, of course), we celebrate National Dictionary Day.
Full. Open up a dictionary and you will gather that this simple word has ancient roots. Present in Old English, akin to the Old High German word fol, it may stem from a prehistoric Indo-European base language. First used in...
October 11, 2011 - 12:09am
by Meghan Telpner
Five years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a condition that is commonly believed to have no cure. I was given the options of surgery and medication for the rest of my life, still without the potential of a cure. My doctor told me that diet would have no effect and that I would have to learn to live with it.
Not one to play by the rules, I decided to create my own. I chose a natural route that included meditation, yoga, acupuncture, rest, and a diet...
October 10, 2011 - 8:49pm
In our local sangha, we continued our reading and discussion of the chapter titled “Doing No Harm” in Joseph Goldstein’s One Dharma. Since I wasn’t able to be there, Karen led discussion. This is her report:
This week we talked about what Goldstein called “ill will” as one of the three unwholesome actions of the mind. Some other words he suggested may be used in this context are aversion, anger, hatred, and also sorrow and grief.
Goldstein focused sorrow and grief. He writes...
October 6, 2011 - 9:10pm
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Sanskrit word “guru.” Most of us know it as “teacher” but the Sanskrit breakdown is a little different. See here from the Upanishads:
The syllable gu means shadows
The syllable ru, he who disperses them,
Because of the power to disperse darkness
the guru is thus named.
— ADVAYATARAKA UPANISHAD 14—18, VERSE 5
A friend of mine was recently listening to me talk about how I was upset about this thing and feeling things about...
October 5, 2011 - 4:13pm
The fall issue of Reform Judaism magazine contains a passionate, even angry, attack on Jesus, Krishna, and John Lennon’s song “Imagine” by Dr. Ze’ev Maghen of Bar-Ilan University. The essay is adapted from his book John Lennon and the Jews. I looked up the book on Amazon and it’s supposed to be an emotionalist appeal to Jews to love Judaism. I didn’t feel the love.
In the essay, Dr. Maghen writes about meeting Israeli Hare Krishnas at Los Angeles Airport (LAX). After a few moments...
October 5, 2011 - 3:07pm
by Lois Heckman
The week of October 5th is designated as “National Get Organized” week. Getting organized is something many of us strive to do, day in and day out, but often have difficulty accomplishing. What a wonderful opportunity this is, then—to have a week to truly dig in. Taking on daunting tasks is always challenging, but if we approach it with a bigger picture in mind, it can become an act of beauty.
Cleaning an area can become cleansing an area. A physical cleaning...
October 4, 2011 - 8:00pm
Kids are notoriously picky eaters, and when my brother and I were little ones, we were no exception. During one particularly nutritionally deficient phase, my brother refused to eat anything except nuked hot dogs for weeks on end; I, myself, hated raw vegetables and didn’t eat a single salad until I was in my teens, when I discovered ranch dressing and proceeded to accompany anything green with copious amounts of the stuff.
Thankfully, I’ve since amended my eating habits, but...
October 4, 2011 - 10:00am
I have always found haiku, with its spare text and deeply penetrating insight, a perfect doorway to meditation. With scarce means—the haiku form allows a mere 17 syllables in which to plumb the depths of its subject—it deftly peels back the superficial to reveal a thin slice of the worlds hidden within. In “The River of Heaven,” his final work, American senior Zen Roshi Robert Aitken lovingly ties together two threads, Zen practice and haiku, to bring the delicate yet powerful perceptions...
October 3, 2011 - 2:45pm
We were fortunate to have Sokuzan Bob Brown, from Battle Creek, Michigan, with us in our local sangha for our 4-hour block sitting on Sunday. In his dharma talk afterward, he talked about sila, samadhi, and prajna. I’ll attempt here to give you a sense of it. Pretend now that you’re sitting, listening—while remembering that these are my words and I may possibly screw something up.
What are we doing when we sit? We are looking as deeply as we can. We keep our eyes open so that we don’...
September 30, 2011 - 9:22pm
Today is my 28th birthday. Birthdays have always been kinda hard for me, all the way since I was four and I had this beautiful confection birthday cake with roses that fell on the floor before I could taste them. I can’t help but think dark thoughts about getting older–those thoughts and feeling about what I’m doing, where I am in my life, where I am going, my regrets, and ohgod the meaning of life. Can’t help it–the image of those sugar roses on the linoleum floor still makes me sad....
September 29, 2011 - 9:51pm
We’ve just passed the Fall equinox, and yet again, summer is turning to autumn which will become winter. We know this, we do it every year, but each time it’s a little different, and we always go through the change with the weather. I think it’s strange that the only thing humans have ever really known and understood in the world is change, and yet it’s probably the one thing we fear the most.
I think this is partly because when we experience change, it has to come along with some...
September 28, 2011 - 4:02pm
By Rani Findlay
This week marks the new moon at harvest time, and the Hindu festival of Navaratri—a time to revel in dancing, singing, worshipping, and feasting, as a way to celebrate the victory of light over dark and good over evil.
Navaratri is also an auspicious and beautiful occasion to honor the creative energy of the universe in the form of the divine feminine. Mythological goddesses such as Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati are archetypal energies that exist in each of us...
September 27, 2011 - 6:14pm
By Julie Morris
Let’s be honest: The craving for a fast, tasty snack isn’t always satisfied by eating a banana or a bag of peeled carrot sticks. And to make matters worse, bored tastebuds are too often the culprit lurking behind failed healthy eating plans. Learning how to make nutritious yet fully delicious homemade snacks that cater to cravings—the “break glass for emergency” foods that busy lifestyles depend upon—can be the small investment that turns an earnest healthy effort...
September 26, 2011 - 4:20pm
Sangha is a Sanskrit word that roughly translates as a community or association with a common goal, vision or purpose. In this blog, poet and writer Fleda Brown reflects on the gatherings of her weekly meditation group, speaking to you as one who has long practiced meditation but still comes to the practice with a learner’s mind.
Our local sangha had 11 people sitting with us this Sunday. We always sit for 10 minutes before we begin our discussion. At the end of the first hour, we...
September 24, 2011 - 6:42pm
Okay, so we all know we need to work on this thing called the “core” we keep hearing about. We know it’s good for the lower back, the digestive system, and we all want little teeny tiny bellies.
But the way many of us have come to understand the core in the fitness world is not really, well, right, in my humble opinion!
We think we are supposed to have these hard, small stomachs, and we don’t want to think about the shame and unresolved crap (literally and figuratively) that...
September 22, 2011 - 7:52pm
Cathexis: the investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object or idea.
Freud used the word cathexis to describe an investment of sexual energy, related to the libido.
Of course, Freud believed that everything psychological harkens back to sex, and all psychological dysfunction harkens back to sexual dysfunction. This may have been true in his day, given the societal mores, but it no longer seems so. Yes, we do have difficulty with how we approach sex in this...
September 21, 2011 - 4:37pm
by Kezia Bacon-Bernstein
September 23 is the equinox, a twice-annual occurrence during which the Earth tilts neither toward nor away from the sun. The word “equinox” is derived from the Latinaequus (equal) and nox (night). On the equinox, night and day are more or less equal in length. Here in the northern hemisphere, the September equinox marks the first day of fall.
In cultures around the globe, the equinox is a time for festivals and celebrations. A common theme is balance...