Category: Publications

Several years ago I heard about a well-known Tibetan monk who had left his teaching schedule to go on a wandering retreat in the Himalayas.  He was gone for four and a half years and when he came back and offered a retreat in Minnesota, I went.  Here is his story and a little bit of mine:

Antigone was my first companion in my attempts to break through silence and find the missing people in my family.  Here’s a short article about that challenge that I wrote for SHE WRITES:

From:  America’s Civil War Magazine 4/17/15

Paul Selby

At Ford’s Theatre Wednesday, we met writer Susan Johnson Hadler, who was visiting with her great-great-grandfather in mind. Paul Selby was a Lincoln associate and editor of the Illinois State Journal in Springfield. He was one of the first in Lincoln’s hometown to learn of the assassination, and remained by the telegraph all night to learn of the president’s fate. His editorial on the event was published on this date in 1865:

The Beauty of What Remains - CoverThe Beauty of What Remains - Cover

Captivating and often heart-wrenching, The Beauty of What Remains is a story of liberating a family from secrets, ghosts, and untold pain;of reuniting four generations shattered by shame and fear; and of finding the ineffable beauty of what remains.

Paul SelbyStanding on a chair I opened the glass cabinet above Mother’s desk, reached inside and lifted out the heavy leather-bound book.  The leather crumbled as I held it and turned the pages to read about Lincoln’s son, Willie, who died young and left the family to grieve.  I read the tender letter Lincoln wrote to a woman whose husband died in the Civil War and knew that my family wasn’t the only one to lose a husband, father, or son in battle.

Plum VillageHaving lost my inner space and feeling a need to change my life, I made my way to Plum Village in France and spent a month learning to live mindfully from Thich Nhat Hanh and the nuns.  The article I wrote about that experience was published in the Mindfulness Bell:

Under search type in the title, THE COUNTRY OF ENDLESS SPACE.

Learning to become a bell master in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh is learning to invite the bell with the heart.  I’ve written about this chance for thoughts to move aside and let the heart lead in the MIndfulness Bell:

Scroll down to “search” and type in the title:  THE SOUND OF THE BELL.

Making soymilk for 350 retreatants every day for three months taught me to live in the present moment – no past, no future, no blame, no right, no wrong, no theories or notions, only now.  I wrote about my experience 0f living in Deer Park Monastery near San Diego in the Mindfulness Bell:

Under “Search,” type in the title, SOYMILK SANGHA.

Thich Nhat Hanh came to Washington, DC in October 2011 to give public talks at the Library of Congress and the Warner Theater and to lead a retreat Congress.  People from the Washington Mindfulness Community and other local mindfulness practice groups walked the marble halls inviting members of Congress and gathered to feed the monks and nuns who accompanied Thich Nhat Hanh or Thay as he is called.  The article in the Mindfulness Bell describes aspects of Thich Nhat Hanh’s visit:

When the cover appears scroll down to pages 44-45.

“Peace, salaam, shalom,” we sang as about 200,000 of us walked to the White House on September 24, 2005, a strong showing for peace in Iraq.  I was among those who were voluntarily arrested.  The article in the Mindfulness Bell tells the story of that day and night:

Under “Search,” type in the title:  PEACE, SALAAM, SHALOM.