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Showing posts from February, 2013

STILL I RISE by Maya Angelou

Six years ago, I had the privilege of listening to Maya Angelou speak live on the value of poetry at the University of Florida. I share these reflections with you again today, in honor of her birthday.  I was relieved to get one of the last seats available for this rare event, having arrived at five for Maya Angelou ’s free speech at eight. The historically long line began with people settled into beach chairs in winter coats busying themselves on tablets, or eating sandwiches for dinner. As helicopters hovered above and newscasters below, I felt the excitement of realizing that thousands of people were gathering together to hear an eighty four year old black woman recite her poetry! Maya Angelou speaking at University of Florida on Feb. 27, 2013  When the curtain rose -after an overflow of hundreds were sent away- we lucky ones on the inside greeted Maya with a standing ovation, as she smiled sweetly, beginning her talk using metaphors from nature. Maya asked that we


  Last summer I spent a lot of time at Carson Beach in South Boston. I remember the first day it was low tide and I went to walk out to the water. There was what looked like pimples on the mud. Upon closer examination, I realized that they were baby snails - thousands and thousands of them. I didn't want to risk stepping on any one so I gingerly returned to my beach chair patiently -or initially not so patiently- waiting for the tide to come back in. As I sat, my first thought was that I was hot and wanted to go into the water. My feet were all muddy - yuck! Could the tide please hurry up and come back in? And I smiled and laughed warmly with myself. I felt so blessed that I could open my heart and Spirit to receive the gift of that moment.  I chose to use that time for a meditation. At first blush, the snails looked like nothing more than pimples of mud. How quick we can be to dismiss and miss out on so much in the world because we allow appearances t

LEARNING TO FLY by Edith Lazenby

  I wrote this poem the other night for a friend, as a gift, a way of sharing understanding of how many ways a heart can break.   Like any who’ve lived life, if lucky actually, they’ve known love;   and then   learned what they knew as love had roots in something other than compassion, giving and true care. As the Native American saying goes: the more the heart breaks, the stronger it grows. I find the creative process feeds the heart in all ways. A child can be the product of many things, but in an ideal world, a child results because of the love of a man and a woman. Or today, same-sex partners can find a means to have a child with the love they share. Being childless, I don’t have that blessing. But I do have a loving partner [after several who were not] and I have writing, yoga and faith. I can lose everything else I know, but even life cannot take those three. Learning to Fly Feelings crack my heart Like an egg with a chick That’s wants to p

KADDISH, RE-VALUED by Sheri Lindner

Kaddish is the traditional prayer that is recited in the Jewish religion for someone who has died…  It is noteworthy that there is no mention of death in this prayer; rather, the words are about the glory of God.  Kaddish is also recited at various points during a prayer service to delineate one part of the service from another.  Thus, it is a kind of “concluding” prayer.  It is also a prayer that one recites when he (traditionally, it is he but in the Judaism that speaks to me, it is also, she) or she concludes a session of study. There are many ways to absorb and understand the Kaddish prayer.  I have heard it said that we recite it for a person who has died, because life may be considered its own study session, and the dead person can no longer say this prayer to conclude his or her life of study, so we say it for him or her. What is offered here includes our traditional prayer first, the words of which do not really resonate with me.  I have attem

FOR A GLANCE I DANCE by Madhava Lata Dasi

There is someone who speaks to my soul in moments of solitude… His name is Lord Nityananda and he dances in my heart inviting me to join him. He is the One I call out to in times of distress. He is the One that points me toward divine love, when I feel myself tumbling in the sea. Nityananda, or Nitai, is always with me, working his keys of compassion on the stubborn doors of my heart, creaking it open to real loving. For my heart belongs to the Bhakti Yoga tradition, in which loving compassion, is personified by a sweet dancer by the name of Nityananda, or “eternal bliss”, who appeared on this very day, in Bengal, India, over 500 years ago. Nityananda’s bliss is expressed in his dancing, and thus he is known as the “King of Dancers”. Ever since the fifteenth century, Lord Nityananda’s devotees have been dancing in hopes of attracting one of his loving glances, which are known to fill one with such divine ecstasy, one never wishes to stop dancing! Nityananda is