Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart
November 2011 Archives

Bodhi Day — or the celebration of the day the Buddha achieved enlightenment — is coming up. December 8th, FYI. And that’s important to me. Because Bodhi Day celebrates possibility. That’s what Bodhi Day is all about, really — what […]

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The movies featuring family holidays are all disturbing, even when comedy is the intention: Thanksgiving stress, Christmas dysfunction, loud drunks and childhood grievances. So that’s all too often what we expect. And sometimes we don’t even realise it until it’s […]

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In my life, I’ve had a lot of jobs. But my current one — teaching at a state university — is by far the one with the most impact. And the one thing I’ve learned in the 20+ years I’ve […]

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Yesterday in the undergraduate class I teach, everyone was quiet. Working. Drawing and colouring.  Thinking. I often use ‘childish’ tools and practices in my classes, even though I teach university students. Or retired adults. I do this because of the […]

Occasionally people ask me how (why?) I became a Buddhist. And the deal is… I didn’t, actually.At least , not until quite late, and then only if you count my bodhisattva vow a few years ago. Long after I identified […]

I’ve always wondered what those of us w/ degrees in the letters — language arts, some folks call them — should call ourselves. History has historians. Science has general scientists, as well as botanists, biologists, micro-biologists, physicists, chemists, etc. We […]

I will caution you right now: if you believe it’s okay (for any reason whatsoever) to be mean to children in the name of religion, you should find to do other than reading further. Because this is my bit for […]

Alice Walker, in her wonderful essay In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, reminds us that for many women the only creativity they could manage was useful. A garden — like my grandmother’s, like my great-aunt’s — of fragrant sweet pea […]