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2016

2016

These are my steps to creating a mandala of 2016. Between Peter’s cancer, the election, and the nightly news there was a lot of grief and loss, represented by the black and purple. But as the paint dried and sank into the paper, it lightened and I could add the healing turquoise and the white swirls. Behind it glowed the divine light that hold all the mess. All that was left to do was label the highlights of the year. Try…

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Kaleidoscopic Hubcaps

Kaleidoscopic Hubcaps

You’ve got to see this. Back in August one of my mandala blogs explored the question of “What is a mandala?” and spoke of “mandala days” in which even the kaleidoscopic hubcaps of passing cars evoke the presence of the sacred circle. Now Rebecca Stephans, one of the participants in my Mandala Journaling class, has photographed hubcaps that suggest the twelve stages of the mandala Great Round. My favorite Christmas present ever!

The Mandala Great Round: Transformation

The Mandala Great Round: Transformation

The twelfth and final stage of the mandala Great Round is Transformation. This season of the Winter Solstice and the story of Christ’s birth is a Stage 12 season, reminding us of the return of light. It is a season of our lives that arrives once we have faced up to endings and allowed ourselves to experience the fragmentation that occurs during the dark night of our souls.  Stage 12 is an ecstatic stage, offering hope for rebirth and a mystical awareness of…

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Mandala: A Symbol of Tangible Hope

Mandala: A Symbol of Tangible Hope

        In the events and rancor of recent weeks, I have had moments when I’ve almost forgotten that the world is never outside the sacred web of love that offers tangible hope. The thing that most reliably brings me back from the edge of despair is the mandala, that visible sign of wholeness and completion. I find mandalas everywhere: in architecture, on billboards, in the kaleidoscopic hubcaps of passing cars. I color mandalas. I keep a mandala…

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Tiger

Tiger

Let’s say we live in a village at the edge of a jungle. We know full well that there are dangerous tigers in the jungle, carnivorous tigers licking their chops and waiting for the opportunity to pounce on their next prey. There’s one tiger in particular, with his sleek orange coat and distinctive growl who catches the attention of the villagers. He has huge jaws (might I say very huge, the most huge in the jungle?) and even sharper fangs….

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Shattered

Shattered

  This week it feels as if the moral compass of my world has been shattered and I no longer know where I belong. The week has been especially hard for all of those who have known some kind of abuse or bullying in our lives. A therapist friend tells me that the election has tapped into primal feelings of past traumas and left  us feeling scared and powerless. No wonder so many of us are walking around like zombies. We have been forced…

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In Four Days . . .

In Four Days . . .

Blog day. In four days we’ll wake up to a new President-elect and a new array of issues to occupy the space the election currently fills in all our lives. The angst, the what-ifs, the OMGs, the Facebook posts, the increasingly desperate e-mails asking for money, the nightly news marathons, the volunteers hours on the phones- has it all been wasted energy? Maybe. Whoever wins this election, I’ll still wake up the next morning and meditate. I’ll feed the dog,…

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Politically Naive

Politically Naive

  On August 9, 1974 I was sitting in a living room in Paris, surrounding a small television set with a group of French friends. They were incredulous over the impeachment of President Nixon and his decision to resign. To them Nixon was one of America’s finest Presidents, the one who had eased tension with the Soviet Union, ended the War in Vietnam, and opened relations with China. He had enforced desegregation of schools and founded the Environmental Protection Agency….

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Who am I? …

Who am I? …

I wake up to a message ding from my phone: Flood warning for your area. Don’t be discouraged, I tell myself. We need the rain. It’s a fine day to stay indoors and curl up with a good book. But then another voice kicks in. You can start work on some the publicity tasks for Elmina’s Fire that you’ve been putting off. My stomach sinks. I never dreamed there would be so much labor connected with giving birth to a book, work…

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Dona la Pace

Dona la Pace

I’m one of that generation who came of age crawling under desks to prepare for nuclear holocaust and reading Nevil Shute’s On the Beach. The threat of immanent destruction has always circled just below the surface of my consciousness, periodically nibbling on my fingers and toes. So it caught my attention this week when my son posted an article from the New York Times on Facebook with a headline from Hillary Clinton, “I’m the Last Thing Standing Between You and…

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