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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

January 1970 Archives

the mindfulness of tea ~

Tea is only this: First you heat the water. Then you make the tea. Then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know. -Sen no Rikyū This is just one reason I love tea ~ it can, […]

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teaching, practice and love ~

The muse Terpsichore is known for many things: dances, the harp, education. But  most amazing is that all these things come together in one Muse: supposedly Terpsichore invents them all. Think about it: all of those coming from one head. […]

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reassurance ~

This is the kind of reassurance I need, sometimes — just an enfolding hug… You have to watch the video the whole way through to get the hug part :).

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angry heart: juggling change & compassion ~

The hardest thing I face daily is juggling. I’m not good at letting things go, in case you haven’t already figured that out :). So this whole learning how to love/ beginner’s heart thing is HARD. Far too often I […]

just a little human touch ~

I hate college classrooms. Everything we know about the impact of softscape on learning — lighting, seating, groups, etc. — goes out the window when we work w/ adult learners. So each class period, my students (at my request) form […]

a poem to savour ~

Here’s a poem from Muriel Rukeyser, an excerpt from Elegy in Joy. I love the stanza ~ Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in […]

creature comforts ~

What is it about chocolate? Especially coupled w/ sweet, juicy, just-picked strawberries? How can something so easy seem so special? So decadent? Confession #1: I’m crazy about chocolate. Confession #2: not just any chocolate. I don’t particularly care for candy […]

when tragedy strikes ~

Each of these stories from the Tuscaloosa tornado is enough to make you cry. But what’s more important? How each man and woman found a way to go forward, to help. To be there for others…

two years after ~

When I tell people — sometimes even close friends — that I miss my father-in-law at least as much as my own father, they react in two ways:  Some flat don’t believe me. Others want to know why, as if […]

Louder Than a Bomb review ~

A mic. A stage. A pen. A page. You don’t have to be a poet to love Louder Than a Bomb, a documentary of the 2008 Chicago Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry slam competition. Although it’s certainly a poet’s […]

“Landscape of the heart” ~

A lovely website that has beautiful, whimsical drawings and inspirational short ‘stories.’ This one helps as I miss my father-in-law today ~ Landscape of the Heart (Masculine) It is still so new & all we see is the empty space, […]

a moment in the rock’n’roll sun ~

Here’s a video that literally brought tears to my eyes. I’ve always loved Paul Simon. In his earlier incarnation (Simon & Garfunkle) he got me through one of the hardest summers of my life. Later, his music got me through […]

‘A Wedding at Cana’ ~

Here’s a lovely poem from poet Tom Sleigh, a wonderful poet who writes about war, its impacts and the terrible beauty of the human heart. I especially like this one, ‘A Wedding at Cana, Lebanon, 2007.’

BFFs ~

I don’t remember when I first heard the term ‘BFF’, or learned what it meant. I do know I had a visceral recognition: I knew – immediately – who my BFF was. Actually, who they were. I have the BFF […]

‘meet and talk and listen’ ~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is a funny guy. He can even find humour in his unpopularity w/ the Chinese (“I give them a little bit of trouble… People who create trouble for you… give you opportunity to practice tolerance,” he said […]

cat & dolphins ~ role models?

So here’s something that’s just fun. But it’s also kind of lovely… Think about it: a cat playing w/ wet dolphins… I want to be that trusting…

indigo buntings and multiple truths ~

Warning: if birds don’t make you think of infinity, then you may not want to read further… This week I saw an indigo bunting feeding at the bird feeder. Nothing fancy in the feeder — just the usual small seed […]

bees and the Buddhist work ethic ~

My husband says bees have a Buddhist work ethic. I was prattling on about bees (not uncommon around our house), and I said that bees should be in this blog banner. Because, I said, bees are such a great metaphor […]

kindness, social conscience and believing ~

I may be bad at gentle, but I’m good at believing. The White Queen’s ‘six impossible things before breakfast’ is nothing to me. I believe in world peace. In faeries (really). In other universes. In public education. And at least […]

Beginner’s Heart and the Army ~

So what is beginner’s heart? I actually Googled the term. Not many results apply. I came up with it like I do poem titles ~ it seemed like a good idea, and like it would lead me somewhere. It’s how […]

blogging, hubris & tea ~

It’s an act of extreme hubris to begin a blog — it says that what we think and feel and do in our unexceptional life is worth noting. And of course it is, to those who love us. But I’ve […]

The Dalai Lama, bin Laden and forgiveness ~

Lately I’ve been losing sleep (really) over the rhetoric on the news about bin Laden’s death. People are rejoicing, and somehow, that seems wrong to me. Although I understand it when it’s New Yorkers — after all, their city was […]

‘Samurai Song’ ~

A lovely poem by former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. It seems to somehow reach out to me and remind me how much I have ~ Samurai Song When I had no roof I made Audacity my roof. When I […]

Previous Posts

chocolate, and my own #AmtrakWritingRetreat
The first leg of my 2+ days on the train. Despite getting up at 4 in the morning (& not sleeping well before that!), I couldn't sleep on this first ...

posted 2:25:47pm May. 27, 2015 | read full post »

more on the home front ~
Today was 'look at houses' day. Funny how pictures bear so little resemblance to the real thing. When I taught, I used to give my students postcards from ...

posted 2:36:27pm May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

hunting for home
Looking for a house is hard. Looking while recognising that this will be your long-term home -- not a rental, not a summer vacation -- is ...

posted 5:40:03pm May. 25, 2015 | read full post »

living through the unexpected (with equanimity?)
 This is how we spent two hours Friday: lined up to cross the French Broad River bridge. TWICE. (I've been calling it the French Bread River Basin since then; ...

posted 10:32:07pm May. 24, 2015 | read full post »

road trips
You see differently when you're on the road. Something about the ribbon of highway before you, the enclosed space of the car, the forced closeness and the ...

posted 9:36:21am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

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