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Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

December 2006 Archives

The Energy Left After a Mother’s Death

posted by Chattering Mind

I don’t mean to sound gloomy, but these days after Christmas often make me think of death. They always have. But I’ve been more aware of life’s fleeting, poignant character in recent years. My mother died four years ago on […]

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Clutter Is One Thing We All Share

posted by Chattering Mind

You know, this Chattering Mind blog is currently attracting some 25,000 unique visitors a month. And usually, you readers are a relatively quiet bunch. But inspiring chatter was indeed released by my three-part series on the clutter we keep in […]

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All Smiles Now

posted by Chattering Mind

I once wrote an essay called “Why Women Smile” for the women’s magazine Lear’s. More than fifteen years later, I’m still receiving checks from academic presses planning to re-run the article because, apparently, it “teaches well” in first-year college writing […]

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Bridging the Generation Gap

posted by Chattering Mind

“Who is the audience for this thing?” my 91-year-old father asked, clearly perplexed. I had my laptop out, and I was kneeling beside him, scrolling through my weblog, stopping at items I’d written that he might like. He awkwardly leaned […]

How to Feng Shui a Purse–My Own Amusing Method

posted by Chattering Mind

The time has come to face the facts. I cannot live with my purse any longer, in its current chaotic state. Only the powers of the Asian art of Feng Shui alignment can help. If your handbag is insanely disorganized […]

House Blessings

posted by Chattering Mind

I like the old-fashioned idea of hanging a framed prayer or poem near a home’s entrance to bless the house, so I was happy to find this hand-written blessing that’s probably sixty years old at a Brooklyn flea market recently. […]

Taped Above My Desk

posted by Chattering Mind

“Take off from here. And don’t be so earnest,let others wear the sackcloth and the ashes.Let go, let fly, forget.You’ve listened long enough. Now strike your note.” From “Station Island,” by Seamus Heaney

For the Love of a Chiming Clock

posted by Chattering Mind

This morning, as I entered our house after shopping, I heard our old chiming clock mark the hour. I noticed then that it was running slow, so I put down my bags and wound it with the clock key I […]

Building a Better Miso

posted by Chattering Mind

Ever wonder why the miso made from store-bought miso paste isn’t as good as the miso you’re served in Japanese restaurants? Not long ago, I asked the man behind the counter of our local sushi carryout about this, and he […]

The Weights We Bear in Life

posted by Chattering Mind

The other afternoon, I was walking in Manhattan and the large handbag I carry everywhere suddenly felt incredibly heavy. Oh God, what was in there anyway? I’d been out all day. So I opened my bag and peered in. Aooohhh… […]

My Favorite Yoga Story

posted by Chattering Mind

So I showed up on time for my yoga class, feeling down in the mouth and fat. Class began and I moved through the sun salutations, focused on my unattractiveness. Too heavy. Too old. Oh woe, woe, woe. It’s amazing […]

Reasons to Love CyberHymnal.org

posted by Chattering Mind

Here’s why I love CyberHymnal.org: * It boasts 6,100 Christian hymns and gospel songs, and can play any one you want to hear immediately upon request. * Its web pages are sweetly under-art-directed. * Its computer-generated piano playing is straight-laced […]

Bless Your Mess

posted by Chattering Mind

This NYT article about messy desks (and closets and basements) possibly being a symptom of a creative, lively existence is of some comfort. I still want to unload more of the clutter in our basement come 2007, and help you […]

Here’s Our Plan for Next Week

posted by Chattering Mind

The folks at Beliefnet who watch over me and push the buttons to publish Chattering Mind will be off next week. This means that no matter how much I want to blog, I’ll have to enjoy my children, do some […]

A Sea of Seasonal Red and White

posted by Chattering Mind

Here’s a shot of a recent, large Santa Rampage in New York City’s Central Park. Santa Rampages (also known as Red Menaces, SantaCons or Santa Conferences) are exuberant expressions of the holiday spirit. Folks wearing rented or purchased Santa suits […]

The Scrooge Sutra

posted by Chattering Mind

I have great love for a writer who calls himself Corax (after the first teacher of rhetoric in Greece, I guess). Corax was the author of the now defunct Buddhist blog “Ow, My Blog” (where did it go? I can’t […]

Solstice: A Time of Such Richness!

posted by Chattering Mind

Please attend to the marvelous posts about December 21st and the Winter Solstice that Waverly Fitzgerald has on her site, SchooloftheSeasons.com, as well as the excellent solstice summary she wrote for Beliefnet. This day in December is the feast day […]

Remembering the Christmas Truce of 1914

posted by Chattering Mind

Did you know that on one Christmas Day during World War I, German and British soldiers on the Western Front crawled out of their trenches, shook hands, shared cigarettes, and then played soccer for one peaceful hour, improvising when they […]

You Can Always Be Spiritual and Religious

posted by Chattering Mind

Do you ever describe yourself as “spiritual, but not religious?” I actually don’t since my personal faith leaves room for a lot of doubt. I don’t reject religious affiliation by insisting that I’m merely a “spiritual” person. I can stay […]

A Christmas Meditation

posted by Chattering Mind

I found this prayer by Christine Robinson on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s website today and thought some of you might be able to adapt it for use with family and friends this week. An excerpt: Like the harried innkeeper, may […]

Can Spices Bolster Auto-Immune Health?

posted by Chattering Mind

A recent Third Age newsletter discusses the medicinal impact of common spices, citing Victoria Zak’s book “The Magic Teaspoon.” For instance: * A diet rich in cayenne-spiced chili can protect against the formation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. * When you […]

Is Soy Making Our Children Gay?

posted by Chattering Mind

I know soy messes with estrogen, but this strikes me as extreme. Here’s the conservative Jim Rutz writing for World Net Daily, revving readers up to eat less soy: Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the […]

Dance on a Moonbeam With Bill Crofut

posted by Chattering Mind

It’s not a new album (in fact, the responsible folk artist Bill Crofut died in 1999), but “Dance on a Moonbeam” is so beloved by me and my children that I want to turn you on to it anyway. It’s […]

Try A Yoga Gingerbread Person!

posted by Chattering Mind

These guys make me feel so joyous. But in cute (and reasonably accurate) poses like down dog, plow, and warrior two, how could anyone ever bite into them? I send heartfelt thanks to Patty Paige Baked Ideas in New York […]

Jungle All the Way?

posted by Chattering Mind

Another 2006 innovation: Traditional Christmas music channeled through African percussive instruments. No lyrics, just carols made tropical. The effect is truly relaxing and highly unusual.

Meet Ellen Burstyn’s Gracious Spirit

posted by Chattering Mind

You may know Ellen Burstyn as an actor, the kind of natural performer who isn’t self conscious, but did you also know she’s a deeply spiritual person with a passion for Sufism? Read Valerie Reiss’s interview with Burstyn here. An […]

Do You Keep a Shoe-free Home?

posted by Chattering Mind

I’m attending a birthday party next week in a shoe-free home. The invitation warns all guests of this in advance, and has playfully suggested that we come in “clean socks!” Of course, I have no problem with this, but I’m […]

Some Government Officials Can’t Tell Sunnis from Shiites

posted by Chattering Mind

Here’s a hugely important article by Congressional Quarterly’s Jeff Stein. It reveals the sorry truth that government officials of both parties don’t always know who’s who and what’s what in the Arab world. Five years post-9/11, it’s everyone’s personal responsibility […]

Book of Bird Song

posted by Chattering Mind

If you know someone who cares about birds and the songs they sing, this is a lovely holiday gift–it’s a book that actually utters 250 (!) bird songs for you at the touch of a button. I recently purchased a […]

How the Chatterings Deck the Halls

posted by Chattering Mind

“But I don’t know how to buy a Christmas tree,” lamented the Jewish Mr. Chattering. “You’ll do fine, honey, just buy one that’s seven or eight feet high and don’t pay too much for it.” “I’m not Christian!” “But this […]

Are Mixed/Blended Faith Celebrations the New Normal?

posted by Chattering Mind

There is no set way to celebrate the December holidays anymore. I’m not an advocate of “mixing everything up.” I’m just saying a lot of us are mixing it up through mixed-faith marriage, conversion, or inventive experiment. Last Christmas eve, […]

What is Mary Cheney’s Teaching?

posted by Chattering Mind

If you are of the Everything-Happens-for-a-Reason school, you might be saying “Oh, Mary Cheney’s pregnancy is designed to teach those frumpy Cheney parents and the Religious Right that it’s not immoral for gays to have kids.” Could be. But actually, […]

Throw a Party In Honor of Seasonal Darkness!

posted by Chattering Mind

Thanks to “MettaMusings” blogger/CM reader “Story Midwife” for writing about the parties she throws in honor of the seasonal darkness. “Ah, the nourishing dark. Though I cringe at the cold and snow of winter (not a helpful thing as I […]

Phillip-Morris Was Forced to Run Anti-smoking Ads

posted by Chattering Mind

Yes, Cindi, you’re right. Phillip-Morris is not producing those talk-to-your-kids-about-smoking ads out of the kindness of its heart. The company was forced to create those public service ads as part of a lawsuit settlement. Here are the opinions of one […]

The New Fab Four

posted by Chattering Mind

If you want to have a good giggle and experience a noticeable surge in your vital life force, click here and scroll down half a page to watch the four charismatic guys known as “Il Divo” sing “Somewhere,” that compelling […]

Just Do One Thing

posted by Chattering Mind

Though countless stars illumine the nightAnd the moon brightly ornaments the earth,Only the sun provides light for the dayAnd gives meaning to the terms “east” and “west.” The man who accomplishes completely One single actExcels all sentient beings.The moon when […]

Beware the Truths You Know

posted by Chattering Mind

If you know in advance what the truth will be, you will never find it. – Marchette Chute.

Make Your Own Bath Salts

posted by Chattering Mind

You could become your own little bath salt factory this month! Here are some tips for creating soothing salt bags that can be great gifts for your friends. Click here to buy a 20-pound bag of Dead Sea salt, which […]

How Do You Renew Your “Flow”?

posted by Chattering Mind

“There are hundreds of activities designed for protection that are supposed to prevent negative energy from disrupting the healthy or healing state, such as wearing amulets or saying magical words. I’ve probably tried them all! “After a lot of disappointment, […]

This Week Marks Buddha’s Day of Enlightenment

posted by Chattering Mind

Many Buddhists are observing an intensive period of meditation this week. You can learn more about Rohatsu, the commemoration of Buddha’s enlightenment, by reading the marvelous articles here and here. Writes Shodo Harada Roshi: The Buddha was enlightened on the […]

Embrace the Dark As We Head Toward Solstice

posted by Chattering Mind

From now until the Winter Solstice on December 21st, we will be experiencing some of the year’s darkest, shortest days. I used to hate stumbling around with the kids and their bookbags at 5 p.m. in the early dark. I […]

Phillip-Morris Doesn’t Want Kids to Smoke

posted by Chattering Mind

As an act of atonement, I guess, Phillip-Morris has launched a television ad campaign and a website to counsel parents on how to prevent their kids from smoking cigarettes. Here’s a chart they use to explain why kids keep smoking: […]

Why Santa Matters

posted by Chattering Mind

Here is the most beautiful description of why believing in something made-up and then not believing in it is a wonderful part of growing up. What follows is from Betty Smith’s famous novel “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”; it was […]

Who Do You Believe About Kids & Cellphones?

posted by Chattering Mind

Well, the eldest Chattering son desperately wants a cellphone for Christmas. To him, it’s a symbol of being grown up. I am in the minority of parents concerned about cellphone health risks; my own cell leaves my cranium with a […]

Don’t Send Me This

posted by Chattering Mind

Thanks to Beliefnet’s Valerie Reiss for blogging so beautifully in my absence. I took last week off to rest my tired typing hands, massage my elbows, see my optometrist, clean the house, and get ready for the holidays. I didn’t […]

Stress-Busting Holiday Gifts

posted by vreiss

My fellow Beliefnetters and I have been working over the last few weeks to gather a collection of some of the lovelier holiday gifts on the web this season. We just published them last night. We’ve got a list of […]

It’s AstrologyZone Day!

posted by vreiss

It’s the beginning of a new month. Which means one great thing in my world: horoscopes! Susan Miller, beloved astrologer to many, comes out with her ever-lengthening monthly forecast on AstrologyZone.com for each astrological sign on the first of ever […]

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More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Chattering Mind. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Inspiration Report Happy Reading!!!   ...

posted 9:09:39am Jul. 10, 2012 | read full post »

CM's Final Posts: You Can Fill the Space
Eighteen years ago, I wrote an article for a magazine that got me called in for a taped interview with a Fox TV morning news anchor. Being an effective communicator and a skillful public speaker was a dream of mine at the time. And still ...

posted 3:14:59pm Jul. 27, 2007 | read full post »

Websites to Visit, Blogs to Read
Here are some blogs and websites I like. It's not a complete list. But it's a start. The first is called New Moon Journal and it is written by Michele Bailey-Lessirard, a life coach, collage artist, and "shamanic astrologer." On the opening page ...

posted 1:24:03pm Jul. 27, 2007 | read full post »

Still Posted at My Desk
"Take off from here. And don't be so earnest, let others wear the sackcloth and the ashes. Let go, let fly, forget. You've listened long enough. Now strike your note." From "Station Island," by Seamus Heaney ...

posted 1:13:33pm Jul. 27, 2007 | read full post »

And Finally, This:
Place your burden at the feet of the Lord of the Universe who accomplishes everything. Remain all the time steadfast in the heart, in the Transcendental Absolute. God knows the past, present and future. He will determine the future for you and ...

posted 11:30:38am Jul. 27, 2007 | read full post »

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