Conscious aging

Conscious aging burns off the small stuff revealing a deeper life purpose. In place of youthful ambition we are left with joy in a crisp apple, a good nights sleep, a maple tree changing colors with the seasons, the warmth of a child curled up on our lap, and the joy of giving back. All the stages we’ve moved through become available to us. We are fresh and creative like a child, experimental and honest like a teenager, productive and in charge like an adult and wise like an elder.

 

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Jacqueline Kramer
To she who much is given

 In this media connected world, awakening to the pain of others can be overwhelming. We can’t bear to see others in pain and not do anything to help them. On my desk are letters soliciting donations from global projects, local food and housing shelters, political campaigns and other worthy causes. All of them are important, but I can’t possibly give money to every cause each time they solicit. So when I sit down to pay my bills I pick one of the causes and write them a check. When my coffers are full I give more and when there is less I give less-but I always give something.

 

 

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Jacqueline Kramer
Home Keeping

Whether it’s a few pots by a fire in Burma or a state of the art home in the hills of Los Angeles homemakers take what they have and create a safe space for themselves and their families. Like an artist who faces a blank white page and fills it with the contents of her imagination, homemakers take lifeless, everyday materials and infuse them with livingness, safety and order. Ours is not a celebrated art form, perhaps because of its day in and day out quality, the constant creation and destruction involved, and its mercurial, timeless nature. But it is just as vital as any other art form that infuses the culture with possibility.

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Jacqueline Kramer
Finding happiness where we are

How wonderful! How wonderful! Everything is enlightened. All beings and all things are enlightened just as they are.

The Buddha upon seeing the morning star

 Each life has its unique challenges and callings. Some are called to make a difference in the world through politics, business and other endeavors outside the home, some are called to make a difference inside the home and other lives are combinations of infinite variety. But the end game is the same-to live a happy life and, hopefully, to make the world a better place for our having been here. This is what we all want, regardless of age, position, education, political leanings or degree of wealth. Spiritual practices throughout the world offer a path aimed at fulfilling this promise.

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Jacqueline Kramer
Why sit?

There are many delights and levels of unfoldment in store for meditators, from physical and mental ease to a deeper understanding of the Universe and our place in it, confidence in our ability to deal with whatever life hands us, the skill to roll with the punches and to find deeper meaning and purpose in life. Through meditation we develop the ability to weave the dry straw of our life into gold.

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Jacqueline Kramer
Letter to the Hearth community

 As we enter the dark days of winter may you be cozy and warm enjoying the company of the ones you love. May this crazy world somehow make sense to you even when we don’t fully understand why things are the way they are. May you find your special place in the scheme of things and may your talents flourish. May we become even closer in this unwritten time and space to come

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Jacqueline Kramer
Celebration

At this time of divisiveness we need our friends and our rituals of light and gratitude more than ever. Personally, I don’t know where I’d be without practices that remind me that, no matter how dark things may appear, light will return. The practice of daily gratitude has been like an old friend reminding me to not spin off into dark scenarios and to enjoy what there is in the present moment.

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Jacqueline Kramer
ME TOO

Due to special circumstances I am putting out a newsletter mid month. This is in response to the suffering I’m hearing all around me as many of us are reeling from the latest Supreme Court confirmation and all that has been brought up about sexual abuse in this past two years. In order to bring healing to a wounded nation we need to first open to our own wounds, and healing begins with truth telling
 

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Jacqueline Kramer
Moments of Joy

The experience of joy is more than a frivolous waste of time, it is a basic need that all creatures crave. A life without joy and color is a bleak life. The lamb bounds through the fresh green grass and the dog gets so excited to see his master he can hardly stand it.

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Jacqueline Kramer
Mother Tree

The tree was dying. The land beneath the willow had become parched from years of drought and a lowered water table leaving the plant life in Sonoma vulnerable. Climate change was no longer an abstraction, as the mother tree that nurtured my family became a fire hazard threatening my home.

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Jacqueline Kramer
Walking

Walking is not only great exercise, it is also a wonderful way to practice meditation. It’s a twofer- exercise and meditation. This is particularly good news for those who find sitting meditation too challenging, get frustrated and give up on it.

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Bouncing Back

I’ve been racking my brain trying to find a new, lighter, direction for Hearth’s 2018 newsletters. 2017 has been a very challenging year for many, the Trump election, hurricanes, fires, and mass shootings…

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Spring

I had a free day. It’s early spring here in Sonoma- chilly mornings, clear afternoons with bright emerald green fields dotted with yellow mustard in front of fire charred hills. I’d been preoccupied…

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Jacqueline Kramer