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Beginner's Heart
December 2011 Archives

It’s the 5th day of Kwanzaa, the day of purpose, if I’m not mistaken. I love the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). […]

I believe in Santa. He laughs — he’s jolly and dresses in red and he brings presents and candy and joy. He brings presents to the deserving. Often, even when there seems no way for presents to arrive, Santa still comes […]

Today I heard the only argument that could convince me there’s another side to the Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas controversy. As you may know, I’ve come down on the side of Happy Holidays in earlier blogs, more than once. […]

There are good things happening, and as the days continue to lengthen, moving inexorably to year-end, here are a couple that made me smile yesterday and today. First? As I walked through the cutting wind to my classroom the other […]

So once again a so-called Christian family values group (the Florida Family Association) is attempting to use money to trump Constitutional rights. And tolerance… FFA successfully urged home improvement big-box Lowe’s to pull its advertising from the TV show All-American […]

One of my favourite Christmas songs isn’t really about  Christmas. At least,  not just about Christmas… It’s about “I want to buy in to the benevolent,” and “So goes the prayer if for a day peace on earth/ And good […]

Bodhi Day — or Rohatsu, as it’s known in Japan — is the day the Buddha awakens. It’s the day he finds enlightenment, sitting under the pipul tree. December 8th, traditionally. A dear friend asked me the question I’m usually […]

You all who read this blog may well be tired of hearing about my wonderful students. So you may want to get up and go get a cup of tea; come back in a few paragraphs. Because this is another […]

I have a confession: I’m nuts about birds. Bugs too, for that matter, but we’ll stick to birds for now. Specifically, I think any woodpecker is wonderful. Which means our deck is a way station for starving woodpeckers. This one […]

“…in spite of the contemporary public perception of meditation and poetry as special, exotic, and difficult, they are both as old and as common as grass.” ~  Gary Snyder Yesterday my students asked me to read what I had written […]