Category: Articles

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:

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.

P1020058Ancient themes of loss and return are at play in the form of my father who was “lost” in WWII.  After a lifetime of sorrow I see his smile in a little boy happily picking up leaves and giving them to his mother during a day of mindfulness and write of this experience in the Mindfulness Bell:

Under “Search,” type in the title, MY FATHER’S SMILE.

Surprised and curious, I listen to our Dharma teacher lead us in a practice to restore inner peace after the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech.  Blue Sky Practice can be used by any group, anywhere, anytime to restore a sense of peace in times of trouble.  You can read about this practice in the Mindfulness Bell:

Under “Search,” type in the title, BLUE SKY PRACTICE.

Scan 4In 2008 I met my 94 year old Aunt Elinor for the first time.  She had been lost to the family since 1936 when she was sent to the mental hospital as a 23 year old mother of two small children.  Elinor was feisty, affectionate, and she still played the piano when I found her in a nursing home.  I saw her as a kind of bodhisattva in the way she related to everyone around her as family and lived without so many of the things I deem necessary.  The article in the Mindfulness Bell introduces her as Sadaparibhuta, the bodhisattva who never disparages.