Grief is a sacred journey

Spirituality

Gardening is a Spiritual Practice

We walked through a maze of flowered paths in Montreux, Switzerland. My husband Vic rolled a ball with our young son David so I could talk with Paul Brunton, the elderly philosopher we’d come to visit. In 1973 during our

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How is a Buddhist Monk like a Butterfly?

I don’t grasp the subtleties of Buddhist philosophic teachings or understand the mechanics of flight, but I know the beauty of a Korean monk opening his heart and a Fritillary opening her golden wings. I touch inner stillness as a Monarch sips nectar and the

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When the Dalai Lama Blessed the Children

When the Dalai Lama visited the United States for the first time in October 1979, he spent four days at Wisdom’s Goldenrod, a philosophy and meditation center near Seneca Lake in New York. Sidney Piburn, a friend and

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Three Life-Affirming Lessons from Death

1. Death makes us value life The death of someone I love reminds me of my own impermanence. The loss of their familiar presence makes me consider what matters most to me. In my twenties, I read The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos

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Coming to Carry Him Home

After nearly three years of cancer therapy, my brother’s body was exhausted. There were no more options. Jim was dying. The previous week, I spent four days with him in his hospital room. We were often alone then. When

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Poems to Soothe a Grieving Heart

Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain. It is a sorting process. One by one you let go of things that are gone and you mourn for them. One by one you

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“Part of Living is Dying”: Interviewing My Sick Husband for StoryCorps

Vic and I waited in a quiet room in our friend Steve’s house while the sound engineer set up his recording equipment. Vic wore thick layers of bulky clothing over his cancer swollen body. Four months before, after a severe drug reaction, he’d

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Wild Nights: 2015

A New Year’s gift of night skies and poems of joy and hope. Photos labeled “at home” were taken on my hill on the east side of Seneca Lake in the New York Finger Lakes. In 1972, my husband

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Winter Solstice: In the Midst of Darkness, There is Light

Lighting one candle from another – Winter night. ~Yosa Buson When I was a kid, no one helped me face catastrophe or loss. In the 1950s, everyone I knew feared a nuclear attack. Teachers told us to hide under our desks,

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We Are Not Alone: A Community Ritual of Remembrance

I arrive at the Unitarian Fellowship in Big Flats, NY a little early on Sunday morning. I need spaciousness and inner quiet to set up and lead a Ritual of Remembrance for this community. This is my

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