Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart
Bio

Britton Gildersleeve is a 'third culture kid.' Years spent living on the margins - in places with exotic names and food shortages - have left her with a visceral response to folks ‘without,’ as well as a desire to live her Buddhism in an engaged fashion. She’s a writer and a teacher, the former director of a federal non-profit for teachers who write. She believes that if we talk to each other, we can learn to love each other (but she's still learning how). And she believes in tea. She is (still) working on her beginner's heart ~

I’ve been looking at poetry through a different lens lately. I write the poem — which is always the best first step, when you look at poetry… 🙂 — and then wondering how it reflects my practice. It’s a fascinating […]

I fall in love with words. And I’m pretty promiscuous about it — no single one holds my interest exclusively. I’m kind of a polygamous word lover, I guess. Much of my writing evolves out of word love affairs. One […]

I’m trying to see learning these days. Which means I’m looking for it in unlikely places. Like nightmares. I’ve always been prone to nightmares. Today’s poem for National Poetry Writing Month is about that, a particular ongoing nightmare that reappears […]

I’ve written about becoming a Buddhist elsewhere, but as with most of our memories, I may have that wrong. I may have been born w/ Buddhist longings, but I also may have found my Buddhist mind through poetry. Poetry is […]

A couple of times a year, I get to see my best friend. She lives in Oregon, I’m in Oklahoma. It’s a long time between visits. But each time we get together, it’s kind of a refresher course in Buddhism […]

So this is what learning looks like in America. If you’re middle class or wealthier, your children do pretty well. More than 80% of them will graduate w/ a 4-year degree(see below). If, however, you’re in the bottom quartile (the […]

I hate grading. I hate ranking things. I actively dislike hierarchies of most kinds. And yes, I know I shouldn’t use the word hate. I hate that too. 🙂 I’m not against assessment. It’s very different from grading, at least […]

Anyone who’s read this blog knows our deck (and yard) are like habitat central. We have multiple feeders: nectar for hummers, in the spring; suet & seed blocks for woodpeckers and wrens (and the ubiquitous grackles); small seed for sparrows, […]

I’m taking early retirement this year. And it’s changed the way I view almost everything. For one thing, apparently it’s not retirement if you’re not old enough. It’s ‘separation.’ So perhaps what I’m having is separation anxiety… Our culture defines […]

I’m reading Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. She notes that death makes way for birth, and that birth follows death. In my family, we’ve always believed (a kind of Oklahoma folk belief :)) that when one passes, another comes. […]

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