I just watched a short “trailer” for Sounds True’s production of another Pema Chödrön teaching. This one is on shenpa, the Buddhist word for when we get caught up in our minds, especially when we are hooked on some emotion. What struck me most was how she used a pause in order to get unhooked.…

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Time-travel fascinates me. It must fascinate others, too, because if you are looking, there are many movies and books that feature time-travel. The most popular recent series is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve read all her books and watched some of the films. Other sources are various episodes of Star Trek, and of course the…

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My father was the parent I was closest to. As noted in a previous post, my mother and I had some difficulties, so it was natural to gravitate toward Dad. Besides, he was usually in good humor, whereas Mom could be moody and unpredictable. He was born in Gardner, Massachusetts but lived most of his…

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In the past four years, I have lost three of my remaining four elders: my father, my uncle, and my aunt. My remaining elder—my mother—has what is probably vascular dementia, and so exists in the “in-between.” Her body is alive, she eats heartily, but speech is difficult and often incoherent so it is difficult to…

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“You are enough!” is the cry of those who claim to be wise in the matters of psychological and spiritual health. “No, I’m not!” is the response from those of us who have felt the sting of shame. According to Karla McLaren—whose book The Language of Emotions is a remarkable foray into the tangled web…

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A boat that is moored is secured against drifting with the current or the tide. Unless a boat or ship is being steered in a certain direction—in other words, unless it is moving to a purpose—mooring keeps it safe. Humans need mooring, too. We need some person or belief or community in which to feel…

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It was the sugar’s fault. I’m sure of that. The sugar and the blatant evidence that a once-treasured source of soul-feasting and retreat was being plundered in front of my eyes. At least that’s how I saw it, through the sugar-fed haze. I am usually very sparing in my intake of sugar, but Easter brunch…

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There are many things, of course, that disrupt our lives and create situations of suffering: accidents, relationship troubles, losses of all kinds—work, income, a sense of safety, deaths of people close to us or even of strangers whom we hear about on the news. Most recently it has been the pandemic, which has disrupted the…

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I wrote earlier about playing solitaire on Jacquie Lawson’s website. I was basically playing the easier of her two games, the one called “Spider.” Recently I have explored the more challenging game, “Klondike,” shown above. According to her notes, the game is named for its popularity among miners in the Gold Rush days along the…

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The Greeks had two different words for time as they perceived it. Kairos meant the eternal present moment. God’s time. Chronos was linear time, the way we mostly think of time as passing from past to future. Chronos is a human construct. As far as we can tell, animals live in the present moment with…

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