Surviving a Pandemic: No Mud, No Lotus

Yes, we’re in a reality we don’t recognize.  We are living under a threat that makes all the other threats we contend with either very small in comparison, or much larger than they usually appear.  COVID-19 is not following any particular social rules, and despite scientifically unfounded comments and beliefs to the contrary, is both more dangerous and less curable...[ read more ]

Dealing with the Chaos of Challenging Times

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”  Carl Jung’s words have been echoed by many across the ages.  Albert Einstein said, “Order is for idiots; genius can handle chaos.”  But when our lives are in chaos, most of us long for order.  We might like to experience change or at least unpredictability from time...[ read more ]

The Broken Hand of Blessing

There is a bronze figure of Green Tara, a Tibetan Buddhist deity of compassion, in my office.  She is depicted sitting upright on a lotus flower with the disc of the full moon behind her, one foot tucked up and the other slipping off the lotus and pointed toward the earth, as if ready to stand.  Her right arm is...[ read more ]

Love and Self-Care in the Time of COVID-19: 10 Ways to Cope

We’re all coping differently with our new reality.  It seems to me that the people I see who are coping with the anxiety and restrictions related to COVID-19 best are the people who 1) have a strong support system, 2) know how to take care of themselves, 3) have not lost employment, 4) are introverts who love to stay at...[ read more ]

Holidaze Hazards

It's almost Thanksgiving. I just made a test pumpkin pie to troubleshoot a recipe, and tonight we'll dig in. It's cold and the app on my phone has switched "Chance of Rain" to "Chance of Snow" which apparently, right here in Oregon, is 0%. The sun is down before 5 pm and doesn't rise until after 7 am. Most of...[ read more ]

Death of a Loved One, Part 2: How Ritual Can Help

My last post was about how my family and I weathered the dying of my father (Fatherless Child). In that post, I described some of the ways we memorialized him, including my gathering pictures and creating an altar to memorialize him. In this post, I'll talk about how such rituals can help you experience your grief and memorialize your loved one in...[ read more ]

Death of a Loved One, Part 1: Fatherless Child

My father died at age 82. He had not been able to swallow properly for years, due, we think, to a series of small strokes that created symptoms diagnosed first as lymphoma, then as Alzheimer's, then finally as a series of small strokes. His health, mobility, and engagement in the world around him-due to the strokes, the inevitable prostate problems,...[ read more ]

Routes, Maps, and Routines

I take off on my bike only to stop and strap my Fitbit to my shoe—this requires untying and retying the laces.  I should know this by now, I think, except that I haven’t been riding my bike as much this summer as I used to.  This evening, the need to move faster than a walking pace took hold, so...[ read more ]

A Tension of Openness

Paradox seems to be the nature of life.  We must let go to take in, to receive.  We must relax in order to use our strength best.  The simple act of breathing illustrates this. I was meditating a few days ago when I noticed something I somehow didn’t remember noticing before.  I have been meditating for years, so this seemed...[ read more ]

Welcome, Survivor. We Need You.

The last couple of weeks have been particularly rough for countless women who were aware of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. There has been at least one viral Facebook post written by a woman in which she stated that although she had never been sexually assaulted, the pain she felt, and saw in women around her,...[ read more ]

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