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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

when people you love hurt
I have never known what to do when people I love hurt. Whether it's physical, mental, or spiritual, all I know how to do is hug, soothe, and cook. I prescribe ...

posted 4:45:33pm Aug. 04, 2015 | read full post »

unexpected treasures
This is a bat house. While this one isn't the one currently in my garage, awaiting its move to Virginia, it looks much like ours will look in a few years: ...

posted 1:15:47pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

making friends with (at?) work
Because of the upcoming move, I've scaled back on many activities I love, including several non-profits. Friday, the head of one I particularly enjoy asked if ...

posted 5:49:17pm Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

temper temper
I'm probably going to get a LOT of pushback on this, but at least in my family, men have worse tempers than the rest of us. And they don't believe ...

posted 12:36:21pm Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

In Praise of Teachers Under Attack, reprised
I am so sick of anti-teacher ignorance that I could spit, as my Aunt Bonnie would have said. “It’s nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher.” No. No, no, ...

posted 1:52:52pm Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

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