Goldie: Buddhist, Jew, Jesus Freak

'For the rest of my life, everything I do has to be with good intentions.'

He went to the desert; he sat quietly. He sat so quietly that he heard the voice of God. He heard the truth. He felt the truth. He was able to receive the truth because he emptied himself and he had the ability to do it. Perhaps that was his specialness, or part of it.

Why was your mother so into Jesus?

Because she felt he was an extraordinary man. She didn't believe, of course, that he was the son of God. But she believed that he was one of the great humans, superhumans, on the planet.

That was a long time ago to have been Jewish and to believe that.

I know. My mother was the kind of person who was very much part of her tribe and very much a satellite of her tribe. She was the girl who left her family at the age of 17 and went to Washington. My mother was orphaned at three and then was brought up by my aunt Goldie. So, yes she belonged, but there was a part of her that didn't.

How do you incorporate Judaism and Christianity in your spiritual practice?

I've been practicing modalities of Eastern philosophy since about 1972. What I've learned through my meditation is a sense of equanimity, a sense of all things being equal. Then I went to Israel--and when I went to Israel, I had a very, very strong epiphany. Every now and then, I will light a candle; I will light candles for my mother on the High Holidays and my father and my relatives. I haven't been to the synagogue, at least not recently.

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And when I went to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, I started to look at their society, I started to look at their people, I started to look at the ways in which they lived and what mattered to them as a society, as a people, what is their natural inclination in building a good society. Mothers and grandmothers took care of the preschoolers and created afterschool programs, where children can go after school to get them off the streets. These were incredible nurturing qualities, right down to making sure they had hot food. I looked at this and I finally realized, "Oh my God, now I see myself. Now I know why I sit and I watch my children eat and I'm sitting over them, watching them eat and wanting them to be happy because I'm feeding them." That's when I realized that was my DNA.

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Interview by Deborah Caldwell
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