Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Scholar In Residence - Rami Shapiro

The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others.
            -- Hasidic Saying

We had a treat this week.  Our scholar in residence was R. Rami Shapiro.  He is one of my favorite teachers.   He speaks Truth in a unique and cheeky manner.  So, there are a few folk, perhaps traditionalists, who are discomforted by his expression.  I suppose i run to the cheeky as well - NOT that I'm in any way his caliber of teacher, just that I giggle, and rejoice in the e-x-p-a-n-d-e-d thought he'll offer.

He has many books, teaches comparative religion at Vanderbilt University, speaks all over the place (yep - he is about as interfaith as a Rabbi could ever be - one of my old teachers would call it "ecumenical" - But, i rather think Rami is over the top - in love with the Holy.)

He has a blog called "Beyond Religion." 

He writes for magazines, he stirs things up.

I hope he's as confident as he seems - He certainly inspires me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh My - this hit me in an unexpected way today -

Home of Robert Indiana's famed "LOVE&quot...Image via Wikipedia

When we’re intent on seeing the spark in difficult people & situations, we understand it’s not about them. It’s about what aspect of our karmic debt they’ve come to help us discharge. 
--Yehuda Berg

Made me stop and look at a few things with a different perspective -

Oh my . . .

                                                                                  love & love,

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Giving Credit - Where It's Due

One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present.
In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present.
            -- Stephen Covey

A doctor saves lives -- 
It's up to people to create lives that are worth saving.
            -- Philip Gold

I think about this a lot.  I've had stellar medical assistance in the last few years.
Every once in a while i send them reports.  if there's any good thing I've done, I'm certain the credit belongs to these wonderful doctors.  i hope they think i was worth their time and talent.

Dr. Thomas Herzog - Found a way to keep me on the planet - and gave me confidence to claim a better life.

Washington University Medical Center . . . . 
You're in good hands here -

Dr. Hurst - gave me back my cutie-pie face

Couldn't find a picture of Dr. McKenny (who gave me hugs - and lots of encouragement - because I didn't have family to cheer me on)

This photo is going to have to represent the staff at Grace Hill and Connect Care - they make me feel cared about - while they keep me healthy - 

I owe a lot - I'll keep doing my best to earn what's been invested  . . 

Your Maggid - 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

High Recommend

What a Brilliant Story
Made me want to cheer

Such Humanity


Have you seen it?
What did you think?

love & love,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't Walk, Dance!

This makes me smile.
I always think we should dance.
No, really! 
Like in the grocery store, when the muzak catches our attention. couldn't we dance a little crazy in the aisle  OR sing along with the music a little too loud for a few measures?

Here's one of my favorite thoughts.
How about when someones cell phone goes off with a snazzy little melody
couldn't we smile and dance, or at least sway a little, if we're seated?

World could be a little better with mini-dance breaks.

ah!  In my imagination, this is a beautiful world.
love & love,

PS - I am encouraged.  This video tells me there are others like us, everywhere.

Concepts from Yehuda Berg

This is what his son is learning?  Most Marvelous.
i know a lot of people not even willing to consider this idea.
I used to giggle when i lived in Nashville, because almost every day i passed the "Try Building."
I don't know the story of the building,
I just laughed at an entire building dedicated to 'trying' instead of 'doing' or 'accomplishing.' 
Now it doesn't seem so funny, when there are so many people who seem to come from the "try philosophy."

Then again - have i looked closely at myself?  Do i keep my promises (vows?)

love & love,


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saint Francis

Wood Statue of Saint Francis of AssisiImage by pjhodges via Flickr
It's a little bit cool - my friend R. Goodman mentioned Francis in a poem the other day.
Sometimes people refer to me as a Francis - because animals - well, we just get along.
Today - an interesting thing happened at work.
There was a speaker giving an inspiring talk.
When i was asked to do one of Francis' Prayers, it came out

We are used to thinking in a positive way,
Still we were surprised the hear:

"Child, Your are an instrument of My Peace
Where there is hatred, you express love
Where there is despair, you express hope
Where there is darkness, You Are the Light
And where there is sadness, You are the Joy.
My Dearest Children, I will always send you Good
That's what I Am
What you are
And it is in giving that you receive
It is in pardoning, that you are pardoned.
Child, You are an instrument of My Peace."

We all just went along as if nothing had happened.
The lyrics on the music stand were the same they've been for years
guess we have a thought to live up to - there was no asking this morning,
there was an expectation of lifted behavior.

hmmmm -

love & love,

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Trees!

Tu b'Shevat

love & love,
(especially to the Redwoods,
and Crabby Appleton in my own yard,

and every other tree)


Thursday, January 20, 2011


This is one of my favorite teachers.
His name is Rabbi Lane Steinger.
He's one of the most exciting teachers in the region,
so - if you get the chance . . . well, you certainly have my recommendation.
Anyway, I get to learn from him on Tuesdays this term.  
We'd had a l-o-n-g winter break,
extended by a snow day 
and i was looking forward to some new treasures this week. 
i was not disappointed.

The subject was "Mitzvot" and this was the second week in a row we'd discussed the topic.  
Rabbi wrote a list of definitions he did not prefer (all of them commonly used, of course . . )

Then, he gave a beautiful definition that, as far as I'm concerned would fit - 
or satisfy anyone on a spiritual path.

So - "georgy-ized" here goes
This is what I'd like to share with you:

We have the opportunity, 
responsibility and obligation 
to affirm God 
(to make God real in the world.)

Isn't that lovely?

So?  What do you think?

Sending you LOVE & LOVE,
Yes, it's super snowy today - but, still - the heart is warm.

The Ramen Girl

It's snowy here today. 
By the time i returned from story time
my toes were chilly so i gave myself a treat and watched the last part of "The Ramen Girl"
I started watching the other day during lunch break.
Within the first few minutes I was "hooked."
All i can say is
it reminded me
Kindness and Generosity
are Human Traits
to be found everywhere in the world.

By the last few minutes i decided i could confidently say
this story suggests 
LOVE is also a quality found everywhere.

(Making me happy.)

So, it's a simple story - that gave me joy while warming my toes.

Love & Love,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

From Slavery to Segregation to the Presidency

Dear Dr. King,
It's slow going, but surely we are on the way.
Thank you for all your work, it surely looked difficult, Sir.
We are thinking about you - especially today.
We are grateful for you - and, today -
many of us will remember to be especially kind to one another
in your honor.


Amazing Gift - Amazing Art - Amazing Birdhouse

This beautiful birdhouse was given to me a couple of weeks ago.
It sat on the table next to me when i shared stories & songs with my young guests.
After story time they gathered around, it was at the perfect height for dreaming.
They could just about see inside the first door.
We decided it was a magical place
because we could dream we lived in this house
filled with little furniture
and big dreams.
I carried it carefully all the way home.
Waiting on the platform for the first train
children gathered to look
they held their breath in the cold
while their eyes glittered.
I'm certain they had the same amazement all the rest of us felt.

Waiting for the last bus home
some of the Metro drivers
and a security guard 
gathered to admire the beauty
I KNOW it made a difference in their day.

It waits on the table
inspiring me every day.
I have promises from friends to procure and decorate the proper post for this new home to perch on.
When the weather warms we can look forward to the family that eventually takes residence.

isn't it wonderful?


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tell The World Something Important

I am taking a blog class.  While visiting the cyber-library I found this.
  It seems so "Maggidic" - i had to share it with you.
From now on, let's write letters to the world - sharing all the important things.
Love & Love,

Friday, January 14, 2011

God's Handwriting

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

beautiful photo by Amy Soll

Monday, January 10, 2011

You Shall Be The Miracle

Love doesn't sit there like a stone,                                 
it has to be made,
like bread: remade all the time,
made new.
           --Og Mandino 

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
            -- Henry David Thoreau

Do not pray for easy lives.
Pray to be stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks. 
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle,
but you shall be the miracle.
            -- Phillips Brooks

The news is full of negative reports, broken hearts and dreams.  What is there to do about this, i wonder.  

I turned the television on because i heard there was snow headed our way and what a gift I found.  The channel was set differently than normal so what appeared was the BBC global news.  It was the very end of the program and the last story was from Japan.  The report stated the largest percentage of shoplifters in Japan are elderly.  This is occurring because society has changed and the elderly now have limited, or no, support and are going hungry.  The shoplifters were primarily in grocery stores.  The people caught and shown in the broadcast explained they didn't have enough resources to care for themselves and they are hungry.

A commentator in Japan explained the elderly were once revered in Japan, but society has changed so much, people are only concerned about themselves and not caring for the Japanese around them.

I got it.  I've noticed changes here, right around me.  At first I checked myself because my thoughts sounded vaguely familiar.  The thoughts sounded much like the things my foster parents often complained about.  But, i see there are unkind and thoughtless attitudes, sometimes even dangerous and life threatening behaviors going on in everyday life - right here in this community.  For a while i wondered if it was just here, but the news shows me it is nation wide - NOW the global news informs us all it's a HUGE/or Globally Unifying Issue.  

How can i double my efforts to inject Love, Caring, Compassion into my life, enough so it will bubble over and catch fire in my neighborhood, community region - am i able to help LIFT us out of this situation?  I can certainly do my part.  I'm sure there are others at this very moment looking to do the same.  Surely our efforts will connect and do The Work.

Long ago i learned a story about the ages of man.
Now i know similar ideas exist in many spiritual disciplines.
The thought was/is that Creation was powerful, brilliant, perfect at the beginning
and slowly the Beauty, Peace. Lifeforce has been sliding, failing, the life-color washing out through the eras until there's nothing left but the dregs.
One discipline would call this the age of Kali Yuga, a time of darkness and degradation - (well, i don't want to go any farther into this thought right now, 'nuff said that the "end of the world" theory has been around for a very long time.")

What about the folk cheeky enough the claim "World Without End?"
What about an idea of Creation Always Creating?
Instead of thinking there is ONE Creation and that one is all worn out,
how about thinking there is ONE ETERNAL CREATION
consistently creating and re-creating ItSelf.

So, like - when you were five, you were one version of yourself
and, when you were twelve
and when you reach twenty
or fifty
or One Hundred Fifteen
each a snapshot of a version, creation of yourSelf . . ???

Couldn't this be our opportunity to participate in the creation of the future?

Or, am i being like the Red Queen in Alice's Adventures, thinking several things before breakfast?
(Actually, i had breakfast while writing, but you get the idea.)

Either Way - i fully intend to listen for the Voice of the Holy 
and to DO the things that are mine to do.

Today, right at this moment, 
I send out LOVE

Together we ARE the Miracle.

You Shall Be The Miracle

A Tibetian pray flags at the Himalaya Mountain...Image via Wikipedia
Love doesn't sit there like a stone,
it has to be made,
like bread: remade all the time,
made new.
           --Og Mandino 

Do not pray for easy lives.
Pray to be stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks. 
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle,
but you shall be the miracle.
            -- Phillips Brooks

I moved the rest of this post to the "sister blog" -
i thought my morning offering - a bit "Maggidic."
Sending You LOVE,
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Sunday, January 09, 2011

A Good Dog Can Bring Happiness to Your Life

Dog Philosophy:
1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
3. When loved ones come home, always run and greet them.
4. When it's in your best interest, always practice obedience.
5. Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
6.Take naps and always stretch before rising.
7. Run, romp and play daily.
8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
9. Be loyal.
10. Never pretend to be something you're not.
11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
13. Delight in the simple joys of a long walk.
14. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
15. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
16. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
17. When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
18. No matter how often you are criticized, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.

Love & Love,

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Friday, January 07, 2011

Love & Love

Society finch in loveImage via Wikipedia
"Love is the central flame of the universe . . . the very fire itself."
--Ernest Holmes

It's a funny thing.
I used to do concerts.
I would address the audience as "Children"
and i would tell them
"I Love You"
they were often offended by this
I would hear about it in angry tones
backstage, or on the streets.

Now i am silver headed.
Concerts have been renamed and revived.
when i say
 responses are varied.

is it they've been through so many adventures out in the world
 they have some kind of world dust covering them 
that keeps them from remembering?

How about you?
I often sign my messages to you
"love & love,"
and i mean it.
How else could it be?
I'm learning how to share adventures with you
I look for your responses, i look for your commentary, your letters to me
with great, joyful expectancy.

Anyway, i agree with our quote,
Love is the flame (or the glue)
of the Universe

Emerson said: "We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken."

Happy Day to You!
Love & Love,
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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

My Friend, Rev. Larry DeRusha

Here he is sharing on YouTube, so you can "meet" him.  
It's a good way to make introductions, i think.

Perhaps you'll think this a good way to begin the "New Year."

I hope you enjoy your visit with him.  I hope this year is batter than you could think or imagine.
Sending you Love & Love,

2011 - Bring It On!

Own only what you can carry with you;
know language, 
know countries, 
know people.
Let your memory be your travel bag.
            -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I saw a Facebook conversation about hoarders. 
i gather there is a television program on the subject.  
It seems either scary or sad, i haven't decided which, yet. 
It would be hard for me to categorize, not seeing it myself.  
Then i saw this quote and it seemed a good response. 

How are things for you?  
I'm asking about your first 2011 take. 
I had the best ever beginning.  
Saturday i heard new concepts from Rabbi Ed and Rabbi Talve,
that would have been more than enough
but thanks to the generosity of our beautiful local songbird Deborah Sharn
I got to spend the First Sunday at Center for Spiritual Living.  
There's something nifty about Religious Science Centers, 
every January they teach, or  review the first four chapters of their textbook
This way everyone has an opportunity to brush up ideas about Principles for a great life.    

There are a lot of terrific ways to share this same information,
from uncountable knowledgeable teachers -
i got the best treat of all, hearing Larry DeRusha -
yeppers, he was our speaker. 
I call that a GIFT. 
(If you follow the link on his name, you'll get to see & hear him speak on one of his books.) 

Well, it's only the 4th day of the year -
and already, for me, it rocks! 
I hope it feels the same for you.

I'm sending you Love & Love,