Monday, March 21, 2011


Thoughts fall within my consciousness
Like raindrops from an unknown source,
The majority of which go unnoticed.
There exists somewhere, hidden from sight,
A chooser, who day and night,
Pronounces ignore this, ignore that,
Latch on to this, chew on that,
Disbelieve this, swoon over that,
Grind your teeth as you mull this,
Smile to yourself but don’t let this sink in.

Thoughts, thoughts and more thoughts
Most not compelling enough to consider.
Some provoking the most intense emotions
Grabbing at the heart, or clawing in the gut.

Who sends these thoughts my way?
How does the chooser remain just outside my vision?
The thought shower never ceases,  and
The chooser is always on high alert.
Grab this one, dismiss that one,
Resist this one but fail,
Hold on to this one as you watch it slip away,
Follow this one into despair,
The same one that tickled your fancy yesterday.

Thoughts, never-ending thoughts,
Peppering my mind at random
Placing me at their mercy
Until I lean back and merely watch.

Friday, March 11, 2011

American Values

Just yesterday my insightful husband, John, commented that today in America it seems that the patriotic thing to do is hold grievances.  The criteria for determining who is a "real" American is largely based on who one holds in disdain.

Workbook Lesson 68 in A Course in Miracles is titled, "Love Holds No Grievances," and states, "to hold a grievance is to forget who you are."  I agree that in America today a bunch of us have forgotten who we are.

Here's a checklist.  Who do you hold in disdain?

Republicans, Democrats, homeless people, Muslims, union members, Catholics, gay people, Hispanics, foreigners, certain foreigners, people who won't learn English, non-Christians, Christians, fat people, prostitutes, rich and famous movie/rock stars, wealthy people, the Clintons, the Bushes, pedophile priests, pro-lifers, poor blacks, people on welfare, people who want universal healthcare, apolitical folks, evangelicals, Mormons, alcoholics and drug addicts, people who use Botox, people who cut in traffic, people who refuse vaccinations, tele-marketers, Jehovah's Witnesses, Yankees, Bible thumpers, male chauvinists, child abusers, the unemployed, politicians, people who swear, thin people, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow, Charlie Sheen, or Jesus?

I may have left a few choices out, but you get my drift.  Here is what I'm asking myself: why must I hold a grievance against you for disagreeing with me?  Why must I hold a grievance against you because you have made what I believe is a "grievous" mistake?  Why would I shut anyone out of my heart knowing that when I do, I forget who I am?

So many of us are walking around America carrying grievances that we can't even see each other, much less remember who we are.  I hear our leaders talking about "spreading American values."   How can we spread something we don't remember ourselves?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Upcoming opportunities

The six week small group experience that has been meeting on Monday evenings will soon come to an end.  What a privilege it is for me to accompany fellow pilgrims seeking a more contemplative and yet practical approach to life in 2011!

Each week we begin our time together with a guided meditation that leads to a time of silent meditation.  Following the silence, participants share their experience of the meditation, or of their week, or of the challenges and victories in their daily life.  Judgment is left outside the door as the group listens with the heart to stories that so much resemble their own.  Each week is new and fresh, open to any and all possibilities.

After a brief pause, I will be offering a new group experience for those interested in returning or beginning this unique experience.  Though we will use a book as a guide to our communal thoughts between groups sessions, the group is not a book discussion group.  It is more akin to group spiritual therapy, with everyone participating.  I serve as the facilitator and sometime provocateur.

I would love to offer this group experience for those of you who prefer to meet during the day as well if there is sufficient interest.  Let me know!

Also, there has been a request for a day-long meditative retreat on a Saturday!  I love this idea and will begin planning, and in the interest of choosing a space, would appreciate some feedback on who might be interested in this experience.

I love this work and am open to suggestions or requests.  As always, I am available for private appointments either in person or by phone.

Friday, March 4, 2011


There was a period of many years in my life when I would not utter the word, “God.”  When I spoke of that concept at all I used terms like “the Universe,” or “All That Is, or “Love.”  I rejected “the God of the Bible,” and moved on.  I rejected then and still do the notion that “accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior,” was the only path to salvation.  I rejected then and still do the idea that Christianity is the only “true” religion.

Today, however, I find myself enthralled by God, Jesus, Christ,  Father, Son,  and the Holy Spirit .  When asked today if I am Christian I hesitate and usually ask, “define Christian first, and then I will respond.”  Nevertheless, Christianity is in my DNA; it is my heritage; it is the language I grew up with.  The years spent attempting to deny my Christian identity were instructive and valuable, but did not, alas, eradicate my roots.

The primary, but not only, teaching in my life is A Course in Miracles.  It is chock full of references to God, Jesus, Christ and the Holy Spirit.  When I began reading the Course in 1982 I squirmed at all the references to Bible characters, Bible terms…terms like forgiveness, salvation, redemption, holiness, or brother.  I told myself I could overlook all that and still benefit from its metaphysical teaching.  I was correct—it takes a little work to overlook so much, but it can be done.

As I read the ACIM Text from beginning to end for the fifth time, God and Christ, the Holy Spirit, Inner Teacher, forgiveness and salvation are singing to me.  As I welcome those concepts back into my consciousness my worldview changes.  It feels like home.  And those concepts best express what I am experiencing.

For years I have associated myself with spiritual groups and organizations that eschew these Christian terms and concepts in order to signify that all seekers are welcome and that no one path is touted as The One.  I wholeheartedly concur. 

Though I have studied and greatly benefited from teachings from Judaism, Sufism, Buddhist philosophy, and various eclectic metaphysical texts, I remain Christian at heart while respecting other religions and the followers who adhere to them.  The language of Christianity does not and cannot contain all truth. 

My groups and classes are open to anyone of any faith tradition, or none. But with those who at some point in their life threw their western Christian baby out with the bath water I feel a close connection.  The expression, “recovering Christian fundamentalist” has been aptly applied to me for more than 30 years.  The recovery just keeps on keeping on.