I spent most of my childhood climbing trees, racing bikes, and tearing around the neighborhood like a crazed windmill, legs and arms flying. In family movies, I was that blur running across the screen while the rest of the family smiled and waved at the camera. My body just seemed to have an internal propeller that I didn’t even have to think about. It was always ON. ...continue reading The Fidget

Composer John Cage wrote a famous piece of music consisting of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. The idea was twofold (at least): to become aware of silence—and then also to begin noticing all the sounds coming from the audience itself. There is no perfect silence that I know of. I would love to hear it though, if there was. Even the idea of being able to hear silence is a bit of a conundrum. ...continue reading Sounds in Silence

How did we go from being fire-craving nomads to being couch potatoes triple-wired for sound and blinded with electricity? How did we go from an atavistic fear of the dark to a mind-numbing immersion in popping screens and blinking cursors? What is this explosion of gaga-data, this outburst of deafening distractions, costing us? ...continue reading Electronic Jitterbug Angst

When my son was very young we had a big straw basket where we kept all the “dress-up” clothes. Firemen hats, dinosaur heads, cowboy boots, even ball gowns—and all the accoutrements, of course, including ropes, shovels, scarves, beads, belts. He and his friends would dig through the basket and put on the most outrageous outfits and proceed to step right into their own imaginations. ...continue reading Personality and Possibility

If the thought of praying makes you itch, read on ...

What comes to your mind when you hear the word—prayer? For some of us, just hearing the word makes us itch. Maybe we are silently remembering uncomfortable clothes, hard benches and a pulpit-thumping preacher. Or maybe just the musty smell of being in temple when we really wanted to be free to run in the summer sunshine. ...continue reading Ways to Pray

True listening is an art form we rarely encounter in our over-busy world. It involves setting aside one‘s own story to enter into the story of the one being listened to. It calls for a certain attentive stance that balances receptivity with engagement. In some ways true listening is like meditation—one disciplines intrusive thoughts and opens one’s mind to noticing: Noticing the timbre of this person’s voice; noticing how they are holding their body; noticing their cadence, the flow of their breath, whether any particular word or phrase catches in their throat or releases energy. ...continue reading The Art of Listening