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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

January 1970 Archives

what we’re ‘meant’ to be: a story of changing lanes ~

This is, ostensibly, a dog story. Of a dog — Ricochet — who was born & bred to be a service dog, but disappointed. And what happened afterwards… Buddhism talks about letting go. The opposite of letting go is attachment, […]

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what art has to do with it ~

There are so many things right with this saying… I wouldn’t be alive today without ‘art.’ At a time in my life when even my two beautiful sons couldn’t make me want to go on — when the entire world […]

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the teacher is the web is everywhere ~

Lately it seems like everywhere I look I learn. I’m learning from the poems on the lists I subscribe to. I’m learning from the birds feeding on the deck (the much-maligned sparrows line up to take turns at their saucer […]

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beginner’s heart, moral outrage, & finding a balance ~

He doesn’t look 94, does he? And in fact, he probably shouldn’t even be alive. Much less 94. So I’m hopeful. Because Stephane Hessel is not only alive, but still outraged by what’s wrong with the world. And he should […]

the Buddhas in the front row ~

True confessions: I actually don’t have rows in my classroom. We sit in an old-fashioned circle, and I don’t let the students put the chairs back after class. ‘Everyone,’ I tell them, ‘should sit in circles. You can see each […]

tea & beginner’s heart ~

In my next life, should I have one, I’m willing to come back as tea. A nice, comforting China black, preferably. Keemuns — Hao Ya — Panyangs — even a Muscatel-fragranced Darjeeling, although I like milk and raw sugar in […]

Robert Pinsky, “Buddha-goo,” and meditation ~

…One hates the sanctimonious Buddha-goo But loves to meditate. To think one word And the breath balanced on its floor of muscle … Falling and rising like years. The brain-roof chatter Settling among the eaves. …  ~ Robert Pinsky Sometimes, […]

go home!

There’s an article on the Tricycle website about ‘original nature,’ and the Buddhist saying ‘return to your original state.’ I like to think the admonition is more like ‘Go home!’ Because that’s what it is, our original nature — whatever […]

‘doubts and loves’ ~

I ran into an old poem-friend today — Yehudi Amichai’s “The Place of Right & Wrong.” I’m thinking about the images — how ‘the place where are right/ is hard and trampled/ like a yard.’ But doubts? ‘doubts and loves/ […]

poetry, memory & 9/11 ~

Sometimes only poetry suffices… When my mind refuses to comprehend hatred, murder, war and profound grief, poetry is a map to somewhere out of fire and ash. A map through the darkness to a light that may still be a […]

kindergarten teacher bashing ~

Okay, now I’m just mad. And I’m trying — as always! — to do something other than just fume. Here it is, my attempt to address grievances.  It’s far too late in the game to redress them….:( Here’s a link […]

sportsmanship, homeruns, and infinite good ~

This is one of the more moving videos I’ve seen. It’s about a player who hits a homerun, an injury, and the big-heartedness of a very special couple of opposing team players. This is beginner’s heart in action. And here’s […]

‘God is Not a Christian’ & other universals ~

I’ve written about this quote (his book‘s title) from Biship Tutu before. But in the mania ‘remembering’ the horrible nightmare that is the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, it’s good to hear. Unlike some, I see nothing good that has […]

fear and procrastination ~

I have a presentation tomorrow. To a possibly large audience. Actually, we have no idea how many will be there. And here’s yet another confession: I haven’t really begun to write… What is it with procrastination? I’m thinking it’s what […]

Labour Day, workers, and my grandmother ~

I love Labour Day. I love the history of it, the idea that we honour our working class roots. That we at least still pay lip service to those of us who work (hard) for a living. This is about […]

holy fools ~

I used to practically sleep w/ my Tarot cards. Yup — one of those :). I actually taught Tarot for several years — along w/ several other arcane disciplines. But Tarot, beloved of Jung and several other honest-to-gosh scientists, has […]

voting, anger, and finding balance ~

Voting is, to me, the ultimate American right. When I turned 18, you still couldn’t vote until you were 21. And like most of my peers, I wondered about the fairness of a country where you could be drafted to […]

September 1st ~

We must love one another or die… ~ September 1, 1939 by W. H. Auden He’s an unlikely mentor for a middle-aged female writer & teacher, this fiercely cynical, battered gay British poet. Yet every September 1st, I take out […]

Previous Posts

#myAmtrakWritingRetreat reprised
I am now an official, seasoned Amtrak traveller: I have taken a coffin-shower bath. This is it: big enough to stand up   in, and w/ surprisingly good pressure. Considering I on this next leg from Chicago to Fort Worth for 24 hours, I'm just ...

posted 4:28:24pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

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 »

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