The dreamer

Neftalí, who spoons the water from the cloud to the snow cap, to the river, and feeds it to the hungry ocean?

Neftalí, to which mistable land does an unfinished staircase lead?

What does the wind give? What does the wind take away? Continue reading “The dreamer”

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Nasreen’s Secret School -A true story from Afghanistan

My granddaughter, Nasreen, lives with me in Herat, an ancient city in Afghanistan. Art and music and learning once flourished here.
Then the soldiers came and changed everything. The art and music and learning are gone. Dark clouds hang over the city. Continue reading “Nasreen’s Secret School -A true story from Afghanistan”

The junkyard wonders

It was the end of summer. The katydids were still buzzing when I finally summoned up the courage to ask my dad if I could stay with him and Gramma for the school year instead of going back to California to be with Mom like always. “Your mother would miss you, Trisha, but I will talk to her,” Dad said.
I had a reason for staying. A good reason. Continue reading “The junkyard wonders”

Mama Sebona’s Shopping

Mama Sebona lived on a hillside, a long way from the shop.

To get to the shop, she had to walk along the footpath, down the hill, through the river, in and out of the rocks, up and over the ridge, along the valley and through the mealie-fields to the dusty road where there was a little white shop with a red tin roof under the gum trees.
It was a long way. Continue reading “Mama Sebona’s Shopping”

A Lesson for Kings

A jataka tale from India

The King of Benares and the King of Kosala once met on the road. Each sat erect in his chariot, taking the middle of the road. Each refused to make way for the other.

The charioteer of the King of Benares thought to solve this dilemma by letting the older of the two pass first. But on inquiry he found both to be of the same age. Continue reading “A Lesson for Kings”

The royal bee

AUTHORS’ NOTE
The Royal Bee was inspired by the true story of our grandfather; Hong Seung Han, when he was an illiterate boy in late nineteenth-century Korea. Too poor to attend school, he would eavesdrop at the door of the rich children’s schoolhouse until he was eventually allowed to attend. After he won a national academic contest, the Governor of his province invited him to reside in the palace. There, he tutored the Governor’s young son while continuing his education.
Years later our grandfather attended seminary in Pyongyang under the teachings of an American missionary and became a prominent church minister. In 1905 he wed our grandmother; Pang Seung Hwa. Together they became missionaries in China. Continue reading “The royal bee”

The Bush

Joyce danced when the rabbits came. There was a ‘he’ buck rabbit and a ‘she’ doe rabbit. They weren’t at all like the thin, grey rabbits Joyce saw in the open country they called the bush. These were fat, white rabbits with pink eyes and fluffed up fur. They were bigger and a different shape. Joyce’s mother bundled them out of her basket and put them together in one wooden hutch. Continue reading “The Bush”

Sincerity

Don’t make a habit of lying.
You will always be alone.

Fire, Water, Truth and Falsehood

One day they went hunting together. They found a large number of cattle and began driving them home to their village. “Let us share these cattle equally,” said Truth as they traveled across the grasslands. “This is the fair way to divide our captives.”Long ago, Fire, Water, Truth, and Falsehood lived together in one large house. Although all were polite toward each other, they kept their distance. Truth and Falsehood sat on opposite sides of the room. Fire constantly leapt out of Water’s path. Continue reading “Sincerity”

Respect for Nature

Nature is generous to people.
Respect the much it gives you.

Our big home

We all live here.
People, ants, elephants, trees, lizards, lichen, turtles, bees.
We all share the same big home.
We share the water. We splash and slosh and swim in water.
And, of course, we all drink water.
Whales, dolphins, manatees, penguins, palm trees, you and me. Continue reading “Respect for Nature”

Happiness?

Willing yourself to be happy, successful, wealthy, number one, famous, the top salesperson, or the richest person in your community are ideas born of the ego and its obsessive self-absorption.

In the name of this willpower, people run roughshod over anyone who gets in their way cheating, stealing, and deceiving to accomplish their personal intention. Continue reading “Happiness?”

How Keeping a Zen Mind Can Save a Relationship

Rushing to judgment about another may only hurt yourself.

Three Zen masters—one from Korea, one from Vietnam, and one from the United States—have offered powerful teachings to keep us from rushing to judgment about others, teachings that can save a relationship. Continue reading “How Keeping a Zen Mind Can Save a Relationship”

The Tower

Ten-year-old John McNeil ran barefoot out the door on a windy, cold day in February and headed straight for the 125-foot electrical tower behind the McNeil home. John didn’t realize the dangers of the structure, which carries power from Hoover Dam to the southern Arizona communities. He didn’t know that it carried 230,000 sizzling volts through its silver wires. He wasn’t even aware that he had forgotten his shoes. John suffers from autism, a condition that separates him from reality, forcing him to live within his own thoughts. That day his thoughts were set on climbing to the top of that tower, touching the sky and feeling what it’s like to fly. Continue reading “The Tower”

It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies

Susan* bought her 6-year-old son John an iPad when he was in first grade. “I thought, ‘Why not let him get a jump on things?’” she told me during a therapy session. John’s school had begun using the devices with younger and younger grades — and his technology teacher had raved about their educational benefits — so Susan wanted to do what was best for her sandy-haired boy who loved reading and playing baseball. Continue reading “It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies”

A Smiling Journey in Darkness

I was scared to death of death. I suppose everyone is scared of death in some way, but I avoided thinking about it at all costs. When my significant other decided she wanted to get a dog, I loved the idea — except I knew that one day I would have to see it die, and so I resisted as long as I could. We ended up with two dogs, and when the first one died, I happened to be 3,000 miles away, which was a great relief to me. Continue reading “A Smiling Journey in Darkness”

Becoming whole

“I am one. Not half of something.” I spoke those words from a stage in Duluth, Minnesota, where people had braved the frigid temperatures to attend my presentation and book signing. As a single thirty-something, I have finally learned that I do not need to be part of a couple in order to feel complete. Sure, someday, I would like to be married and have a family, but my life will not start then. I am living happily ever after right now. Continue reading “Becoming whole”

Why Thinking Positive Thoughts Won’t Get You What You Want

Positive thinking is a valuable tool that can help you overcome obstacles, deal with pain, and reach new goals. The benefits of looking on the bright side have been clearly documented. Research studies have discovered that optimistic people tend to enjoy increased marital satisfaction, better physical health, and higher incomes. Continue reading “Why Thinking Positive Thoughts Won’t Get You What You Want”

18 Things Mentally Strong People Do

I usually spend my time talking about the bad habits that rob you of mental strength. After all, it only takes one bad habit to hold you back from reaching your greatest potential. But in addition to giving up those bad habits, it’s also important to perform exercises that strengthen your mental muscle, because with hard work and dedication, you can train your brain to perform at its peak. Continue reading “18 Things Mentally Strong People Do”

Love and Self-Love

One of the great and slightly strange dangers of falling in love with someone is how we may respond the day they start to love us back.

Some of the reasons we fall in love with people is because we long to escape from ourselves into the embrace of a person who appears as beautiful perfect and accomplished as we feel ourselves to be flawed, dumb and mediocre. But what if such a being were one day turn around and love us back? Nothing could discredit them faster. How could they be as divine as we had hoped when they have the bad taste to approve of someone like us? Continue reading “Love and Self-Love”

Traditional Gender Norms Are Imprisoning All of Us – Let’s Be Whole Human Beings

The world needs all of us to become healers. It needs us to nurture the sacred feminine and the sacred masculine that lies dormant to various degrees within each and every one of us, no matter what body we were born into. Everyone may express parts of these qualities, but we live in a toxic culture that forces men and women to cut off half of their potential being. Continue reading “Traditional Gender Norms Are Imprisoning All of Us – Let’s Be Whole Human Beings”

Connectedness

Collectively, we don’t understand the esoteric reality of interdependence. We see connectedness on the physical plane and are becoming more aware of ecological interdependence. But we are not generally aware of how different levels of reality interpenetrate, or how our attitude and consciousness can create inner barriers… Continue reading “Connectedness”

Savoring walk

HOW TO DO IT

As you walk, try to notice as many positive things around you as you can. These can be sights, sounds, smells, or other sensations. For example, you could focus on the breathtaking height of a tree you never really noticed before, the intricate architecture of a building on your block, the dance of sunshine off a window or puddle, the smell of grass or flowers, or the way other people look out for each other as they navigate crowded streets. Continue reading “Savoring walk”

The basis of life is freedom

The basis of life is freedom, the purpose of life is joy, and the result of life is growth. For me, this triad of freedom, joy and growth is the foundation of a grown-up spirituality based upon the new paradigm in science—a spirituality of unconditional love, in which we are sparks of an infinite and omnipresent Source of energy consciousness.  Continue reading “The basis of life is freedom”

Universe in motion

Look around and you may have noticed that everything in our Universe is involved in some form of organized creative activity—moving, evolving and changing all the time. It’s a Cosmic Dance that’s been going on since the Big Bang, when energy became matter, and clouds of interstellar gas first gave birth to galaxies of stars. Continue reading “Universe in motion”

This is how depression can affect a person’s day-to-day

Living with depression is difficult for numerous reasons as one experiences symptoms, including weight changes, disrupted sleep patterns, disinterest, apathy, etc. But a life with depression is evident in even more subtle ways. How is depression reflected in our everyday tasks? What tiny changes occur in the lives of those who have depression that end up dismantling their entire support system? Continue reading “This is how depression can affect a person’s day-to-day”

Emotional Baggage Tote

 Everyone has it; the trick is to carry it elegantly. 

We are all damaged in diverse, stubborn and interesting ways: someone humiliated us a long time ago; we witnessed bitter rows between our parents; we had anxieties about self-worth fuelled by comparison with a high-achieving sibling; an early business venture ended in disaster; we have a tendency to obsessive independence that makes it hard to live with anyone else; we have a rebellious streak which seemed cute at sixteen but now gets in the way of working amicably with others… Continue reading “Emotional Baggage Tote”

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