My Columns of Explorations and Reflections
I am, as one friend put it, a "professional seeker." I am always full of questions about life, about my human nature and my divine nature, about God, about the spiritual journey. I want to understand myself, other people, and the Universe better. What do spiritual teachers mean when they talk about the soul, false and true selves, spirituality, surrender? Is there only one meaning, or are there many ways to see such deep and rich ideas?
In this section I would like to share my reflections and explorations about a myriad of life issues we all share, like those I mentioned above, and topics like despair, sin, prayer, true happiness. I hope these will be useful thoughts and insights for all of our journeys. This website is part of my own unfolding journey, so I expect we’ll keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling down the page as my life goes on.
If you would like to subscribe to my monthly newsletter, or to share your thoughts, please go to my Contact page. Thank you for joining me on this journey.
Who's a Grownup?
“Who in your mind is a grownup?” a sales person asked me as I made my purchase. She had seen the bumper sticker my partner and I produced. I sensed she wanted me to tell her whom I was voting for in the presidential election; I didn’t have time or energy to engage a political discussion so I
Violence and Terrorism
It has disturbed me for a long time that we do a lot of looking at the dead and wounded bodies coming downstream, and railing at the perpetrators of the violence, but we don’t talk so much about what's going on upstream, and WHY people are committing these atrocities? What’s motivating them?
NEVER DOUBT that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Activism is defined as “the doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of
Did anyone ever imagine a round-the-world flight using only solar power? It’s almost unbelievable yet this is the real journey and mission of Solar Impulse 2
, pictured here at the end of a 62-hour flight from Hawaii to California. This amazing
Fun and Change
In the summer of 1961 Dad took my older sister and me to the Tivoli Amusement Park in Copenhagen. As we screamed down a roller coaster mountain, Dad turned around and got this picture. We were having terrified fun! I doubt that our shrieking changed anything except to increase the amount of adrenalin
Heaven on Earth
What’s Heaven on Earth for you? When have you experienced Heaven on Earth? What was the situation like? The reason I’m asking and raising this unusual topic is that I recently had the pleasure of taking an online course with Martin Rutte and the Shift Network. The purpose of
Bringing Food Home
Food has been a life-changer for me. The first big shift was not a result of eating a particular food, but from reading a book about food, namely Diet For a Small Planet
, by Frances Moore Lappé. The second time when food sent me on a new course was gulping down two helpings of bland, pale
This painting, called “Break on Through,” was inspired by the flaming pink tennis shoes my acupuncturist's assistant was wearing one day. She's a cheerful, 60-something grandmother who knows how to express happiness! I recalled the lyrics of the song by The Doors; “Break on through to the
Gifts of the Spirit, Part 2
Here’s something I found interesting and unexpected: I went to Amazon in search of a particular book called The Gift.
The heading on the page read, “Everyone has a gift that can change a life.” The possible titles that turned up were The Gift of . . . Imperfection . . . Fear . . .
Gifts, Part 1
The hot topic of the Christmas season is always about what to give to the people we care about. This month I want to explore tangible gifts, the ones that are touchable, huggable, useable, returnable, edible, breakable, or wearable. Next month I will explore spiritual gifts, invisible gifts.
When looking at the crises unfolding around our world, I go back and forth between feelings of hope and hopelessness. There are reasons for both. But in spite of the uncertain future, I find it doesn’t really change how I go about my life because I will do whatever I can to stay positive, and to bring
Fear & Courage
We’re all familiar with the basic three responses to fear: FIGHT! FLIGHT! FREEZE! If we’re looking for solutions to our planetary crises, none of these responses brings about necessary change. But what if we choose to respond with FORWARD?
FORWARD: What we want is
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it: If you can dream it you can become it.” So says William Arthur Ward, popular American author. How many of us imagine and dream of a better world?! We long for a world where everyone’s basic needs for enough healthy food, clothing, shelter, and economic
I came across the idea of “Radical Love” in an interview on Engaged Buddhism as part of a conference on “The Politics of Love and Justice,” sponsored by the Network of Spiritual Progressives. (See references below.) As with acceptance and prayer I wanted to look more deeply into this
I’ve taken this title from a CD by Matthew Fox (Radical Prayer, Love in Action
) because it suggests to me the idea of deepening and expanding our idea of prayer. Probably the most common way we think about prayer—at least I did for a long time—is that portrayed in the photograph
Why radical? The origin of the word radical relates to going to the root, or the essential. So radical acceptance implies a deep sense of acceptance, an acceptance that goes deeper than the mind, a feeling that goes to the essence, to our hearts.
I first came across
On Being Perfect
The word perfect is another loaded and intimidating word like sin, which we explored in April. I’m sure we each have an inner idea of what being perfect looks like: here’s a very short list of the impossible goals and expectations I have:
If I were
What is Sin?
IN THE CHRSTIAN TRADITION this is the time of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. We Christians are told that Jesus died for our sins
. But what does that mean? And what does it mean to me personally? When I think of this great spiritual leader and wisdom teacher (who has deep personal
Lent (which began February 18—this photograph of one of our oaks was taken in the fall; now it is leafless and loaded with snow!) is for many people a time of self-reflection, abstinence of some kind, and change. The theme of this period is letting go. It seems pretty easy to me to give up chocolate
HOW DO WE BEAR the constant barrage of news about the suffering, deaths and crises in all parts of the world without becoming immobilized with grief and despair? How can we witness man’s inhumanity to man—and other species and the planet—and stay positive? How can we bear the suffering and
Revolutions and Resolutions
I love how my dear and inspiring friend and teacher, Rev. Maxine Kaye, speaks of New Year's "Revolutions"—"turning every negative belief on its head, each limiting idea into one of expansion, and all undesirable feelings into healthy, constructive ideals to focus on in the coming year."
Advent! What's Coming?
Advent is a significant time and event in the Christian faith and liturgical year when Christians await the birth of Jesus, the coming of the Christ. But the essence of this event can touch everyone regardless of his or her religious tradition or faith. In the bigger picture—the symbolic
Who am I? Who are You?
When asked on Halloween “Who are you?” Little Kai answers, “I’m a LION! ” When we ask ourselves, Who am I? what do we respond? This question came up for me in a new way when I recently joined Facebook. I was asked to put myself in a category. I had to pick from twenty-five and it was appropriate
What and Where is Home?
Home Sweet Home.
If we are Homesick, we long for Home.
If we're homesick for it, it means we've been there before.
We can find it again.
Who knows, but we must find Home!
We set out on an
The Nature of the Spiritual Journey
What would you say if someone asked you, "What is the spiritual journey?" Probably most of us have a felt-sense of what we mean by the spiritual journey, but I wanted to articulate what it means for me from what I know so far from my personal experience. Here are my thoughts as vignettes.