Too Much in Your Pack?

Are you carrying a lot on your shoulders?

Assume a quiet state of mind.


Think of a pack on your back.

What is in the pack?

What is making it too heavy to carry?

See yourself

removing the weight from the pack.

How does it feel now?

Do you need to remove more weights from your pack

so that you can carry it?

How do you feel now?

Sometimes we don’t know

how much we are carrying

until we lighten the load.

LivingLines p. 235

Ritual, An Ongoing Perspective


How can what

we do

become ritual?

For some,

up early

to run,



steal time to write.

Putting out clothes

for yourself

for the children

the night before.

Make lunch, bag it,

ready in the morning.

Would you call this routine?

What about thinking


Do you




not religious?

Has something

been missing,


not thinking

of meaning

of the routine?

Is there

a way

to deepen

the value?

Create a ritual,

savoring the meaning

of gratefulness

for time,

food and clothing, shelter.



In the moment

by moment.

Many people like to read about different spiritual traditions or to perform rituals but don’t want to practice their teachings very much. The teachings can transform us no matter what religion or spiritual traditions we belong to, if we are willing to practice.         Thich Nhat Hanh, Anger p. 26


Pruning. . .

not only speaks of

cutting back

but also of the

ultimate blossoming

that takes place

when it is done properly.

-Henri Nouwen

In horticultural, pruning encourages growth. But knowing where to cut to maximize growth requires expertise. The image of pruning has become increasingly important to me. One place I’ve tried to prune is my natural impulse to solve someone else’s problems rather than support that person’s own decisions.

Being Available Or Not

Living in a 24-7 world

Turning off

Tuning out



in Person

can be a challenge.


may be

to be

Always Available.

Some sleep

with their phones

at their bedside.

For emergencies



for some.

To spend time

in person

is another expectation


Some insist

taking some of

another’s time

in person.


there are people

we want to spend time with

face to face,

eye to eye.

How can we

prioritize and choose

who we spend

real time



that time to be together

is necessary,

do you feel

like you must make an excuse?

Can you just

indicate that

it is not possible?

A cartoon

shows a man on the phone


“No Thursday’s out.

How about never

-is that good for you?”

If you are laughing

and nodding your head,

think how you can modify

managing and prioritizing

your time and availability.



inner voice is

saying to you

that your excuse is

“I am going to be


my navel!

Hiding Out

When I asked a lovely older couple, who still lead a very busy life,

how they manage it all

they both smiled and replied,

“Sometimes you hide out and you don’t tell.”

I have shared their secret, which is now also mine, with many people. The hiding out can be a day, an evening, 10 minutes. However short, take some time for yourself.”Hide out and don’t tell” can be your secret too.



The earth convulses

Ancient temples

 modern buildings

not built to withstand the fury


Brick by stone


beyond imagination.

Mt. Everest

the world’s tallest mountain


releasing avalanches.



who is


The next day

Sitting at Evensong

in the beautiful seven decades old monastery

Near home,

I remember when the building was closed

for two years to clean and refurbish

Empty of chants and monks,

the first discovery

the foundation, the concrete floor

Built over peat, once riverbed earth

Breaking through

Roots, trunk size

Eight oak trees

Unseen, unknown.

The foundation compromised,


Poised to break through.

Just in time

A new foundation

Dug deep

Roots cut out

Trees cut down.

Everywhere we trust

buildings, the ground under our feet,


to be a foundation

To live.

Thoughts of my inner foundation

Become a litany.

How strong my inner foundation?

How can I


my own boards, bricks, stones,

My scaffolding?

My resilience?

To roll on the rollers that some buildings are

Built on

Where earthquakes Might come.

My inner core

Can I depend on

My stability,


To withstand the shakes and tumbles

Of life?

To be strong, not rigid


Roll with life

As it comes.

My Mediation Healing Ritual

With my hands on my head,

I say;” Lord heal my mind so that I may think clearly.”

With my hands on my eyes,

“Lord heal my eyes,

so that I may see others with compassion and myself as well.”

With my hands on my ears,

“Lord let me hear and truly listen.”

With my hands on my throat,

“Lord, may I speak the truth and know when to be quiet.”

With hands on heart,

“Lord may I be more open to your love,

nurture others and myself as well.”

Holding lower abdomen,

“Lord let me go of what I don’t need anymore.

Let it be released by the power of your love so I may reflect Your Light

more clearly.”

It helps me to breathe and pause at each line of this visualization prayer. I don’t change the words, but I find that I do change the way I say them or turn them over in my mind. Sometimes I linger longer at one part or another, taking an extra breath or two. I do so in compassion for myself, as I quietly release what I don’t need to hold anymore.