My dear friend Faith died this last month. She was my vocal coach for about thirty years and we became friends, discussing everything from music to our families to Buddhism. A mutual friend sent a text about her death when I was in Australia. I carried on with my trip, slightly changed, but didn’t really feel her loss until I was preparing for her memorial service in mid September.Read More
It’s much more self-flattering to identify as a victim of another’s anger than to identify with the one who lashes out in anger or takes more then their share. But if we truly, truly wish to awaken, we need to look closely at all our thoughts, not just the ones that make us out to be the hero of our story.Read More
As daughters of the Buddha we are well equipped to deal with the challenges that face us in this age of climate change, xenophobia and materialism. There are many tools our practice provides us with that are helpful during challenging times. Buddhist principles, such as not attaching to outcome, make for a more spacious approach to activism.Read More
A mom’s dharma needs to take into account getting up in the morning, brushing our teeth making breakfast, strapping the baby onto our chest or getting the kids dressed and fed, and stepping outside the front door, sometimes even before our first cup of coffee. We have errands to run, bills to pay, meals to prepare, and daily decisions to make that impact the lives of our families.Read More
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.
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.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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 comeRead More
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.Read More
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.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
While walking my dog, a neighbor’s puppy came bounding up to me on the road. This is the third time I found this little ball of fur running wildly outside…Read More
When I was 14 my mother took me to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles to hear the classical guitarist Andres Segovia. I was already in love with the instrument…Read More
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…Read More
Sitting on the back porch, drinking wine, laughing, talking and enjoying happy hour with a few of my neighbors, it’s hard to remember how alone I felt in this house just a few years back…Read More
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…Read More