January 9, 2017


On Friday afternoon, January 20th, I will climb on board a bus in Melbourne, Florida, that will carry me and my fellow riders all through the night to Washington, DC. We’ll be dropped off the next morning at RFK stadium, and from there a Metro ride and a short walk will take us to the corner of Independence Avenue and 3rd St. SW—right in front of the U.S. Capitol. A three hour rally is planned there, followed by a march west down Independence. That evening I’ll board the same bus and ride all night back home to Florida. Almost immediately […]
October 19, 2016

What happens on the water . . .

  We are on the Windsplitter and I watch my friend sitting comfortably with legs outstretched and her back against the cabin wall. A small, blond, sad-eyed lab is at her feet, and her husband of many years stands tall at the helm. His blue eyes scan the sea before them, confirming the fullness of the sails, his gaze resting in quiet approval of all this untamed, fluid domain. The sun is kind, the air fresh and clear and perfect as we head from Noank towards sunset in Stonington. I ask, “What is this body of water?” “We were in the Thames River […]
October 19, 2016

All You Need is a Miracle

For many years, A Course in Miracles was my daily spiritual practice. The first two times I sat down to read the text, I was weeping by the third page. These ideas—that a miracle is a shift from a state of fear and disconnection to an awareness of love and oneness . . .  that we are each capable of making that shift . . .  that we all deserve this love—this is how I want to see and respond to life.  All the quotes below are from the Course.  “Each day should be devoted to miracles.”    I am […]
July 7, 2016

Not Done Yet

  It’s 9:30 pm on the Fourth of July, and I’m standing on the Melbourne Causeway watching the fireworks over the river. The people beside me are chatting and not paying attention to the show/the moment/the state of our nation! I turn to the guy behind me and say, “Do you sing?” Earlier that evening: Mike and I trudge a fair distance with our camp chairs and small cooler so we can have a very American picnic. Once we get onto the causeway, I keep stopping and asking Mike, “Is this good? Shall we stop here?” We look around and […]
April 2, 2016

Strawberry Fields Forever

“Love is but a song to sing         Fear’s the way we die,   You can make the mountains ring         Or make the angels cry,   Though the bird is on the wing  And you may not know why ….” I am seventeen years old, lying in the back of a pick-up truck and staring at the sky. It’s nighttime and there are millions of stars in the sky over Lake Erie. My parents don’t know that tomorrow I’ll cross the border into Canada and have several transformative experiences among the 70,000 other […]
January 21, 2016

The First Smile

Reposting this for my son and my brother …HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Chris and Pete! Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”  Mother Theresa It’s September 1970 and I’m at an all-day rock festival. In between bands they are blasting the music of Jimi Hendrix because we’d just lost him.  A few hours earlier, as I walked out the door, my dad had looked up from his paper long enough to roll his eyes. You see, I am wearing a sheet. Well, it would never function as a sheet again, as […]
December 14, 2015

Hide n’ Seek

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Zay is five. We’re playing hide ‘n seek with Grandpa Mike. “There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”*    Zay and I are a team so we hide together. Mike looks for us and chants in a scary voice, “Fee fie fo fum, I smell the blood, etc.” (Zay doesn’t recognize the literary reference).  Then Mike hides, and Zay and I start counting to twenty. After a few rounds, we […]
December 9, 2015

The Experience Is the Beloved

I step out onto the balcony. Low clouds cover any possibility of stars tonight but several tiny lights shine from somewhere on the ocean. A breeze from nowhere . . .  air from the open space of night . . .  a coolness that wafts across my face — my breath catches with gratitude. A few weeks ago, Kellie led a present-moment meditation at the Zen Center. She invited us first just to notice what was in our awareness and then to “Be in the experience.” We were quiet for a while, and then she said, “Be with the experience.” After a […]
November 27, 2015

The Same Color As Love

“The reality of love is found in the secret of eternal divine presence … Love is one of God’s attributes, and being a lover is His profession; He Himself is the lover, and He is of the same color as love.”  ~ Ruzbihan Baqli, 13th century Sufi Mystic Mystics are lovers. Living in the awareness of the “eternal divine presence”, they know this presence as love. Some mystics call this presence God, and to them the secret of this presence is revealed by the feeling of love. When we experience love, God is unveiled! God is always here — love […]
November 13, 2015

The Wake-up Bell

It’s 6 a.m. and someone is ringing the wake-up bell in the hallway with great force and intention. I startle awake. Every other morning at this retreat I was already up when the bell-ringer came by — and on my way down four flights of stairs to grab coffee so that I could make it through the first sitting without falling over. Today I look at the clock and realize that I slept like a baby for eight hours! A miracle. First sitting. Quiet mind. Just being and letting be. Peace. Our retreat leader, Father Ama, leaves the room to […]