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Showing posts from October, 2009

The School of Family

As the final quarter of the year progresses, many of us are planning holiday gatherings with family.  In our household, these reunions are occurring slightly ahead of schedule.  I feel very lucky to be spending long stretches with all four of my boys' grandparents this year, before and during the holidays.  I am also getting to see my sisters more often and I can't underestimate the gift of their presence in our family life.  For me, 2009 has been a year to contemplate each of my family relationships and to evaluate the lessons we can all take from each other.  Some conflicts have occurred as I have tested the strength of some family relationships.  I am grateful that the loose ends have come nicely together to round out the end of the year. 

We have just returned from a week spent with my inlaws in Pittsburgh, PA, which also happens to be the home city of one of my sisters.  I was sad to return home.  Seeing my children interact with their grandparents and aunts is a great s…

Meditation, Country Style

Breathing in and breathing out gets us to our happy place in chaotic moments.  The breath brings us home in meditation, prayer and yoga.  At this time of the year we are all breathing in the fall air, inhaling the scents of wood burning fires, smoldering leaves and a crisp autumn breeze.  A country girl at heart, I'm going back to my roots for some country style meditation.  Come along with me while you take in this themed photo journal from right here at home in the Lower Hudson Valley.  The photos are followed by a guided country meditation, courtesy of Craig Morgan--the chorus is very apt-- I Breathe In, I Breathe Out.  Enjoy!

A little bit of guitar,

A little bit of truck,
A little bit of hound dog,
And a little bit of luck,
A little bit of bacon,
A little bit of beans,
A little bit of you lovin’ up on me,
And a little bit of how it's supposed to be,
A little bit of life,



Yes sleepin' all night with the windows down,
Up in the mornin’ stirin&…

Thich Nhat Hanh Dharma Talk

My husband and I attended a Dharma Talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh on October 9 at Beacon Theater.  I received tickets for the event as a birthday present. 

Quoting from the printed program we received, "Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most respected and recognized Zen masters in the world.  A poet, peace activist, and human rights advocate, Thich Nhat Hanh was born in Vietnam in 1926.  A Buddhist monk since the age of 16, he was one of the founders of the "engaged Buddhism" movement, choosing to live a contemplative life while working outside the monastery helping villagers suffering from the devastation of the Vietnam War.  In the early 1960's, he founded the School of Youth Social Service, a relief organization for survivors of the war.  Thich Nhat Hanh has been an expatriate since 1966, when he was banned from reentering Vietnam after a peace mission to the United States and Europe.  In 1982, he founded Plum Village, a Buddhist community in France, where he lives a…

Stay-At-Home Parenting--The Glamorous Side

I am a SAHM.  That is the acronym for my job.  I have been doing this for three years.  In previous posts, I expressed my desire to start working again, and I am sure that will happen...eventually.  However, I now completely accept my current gig without reservation.  I no longer feel the need to talk to others about future career plans.  I no longer fear stigmatization or stereotyping.  It has been a long time coming and I am pretty excited about it.  After all, whenever I do eventually start working for money again, I want to be able to look back on this moment and know that I enjoyed it 100%. 

What is life like for a stay-at-home parent?  It differs in each individual case.  It varies based on the number of children and their respective ages.  It varies widely based on what the spouse is like, if indeed there is a spouse at all.  Admittedly, it varies dramatically based on income level.  Uniformity is no fun.  As the French say, vive la difference!  The key is to like what you are…

Stop Writing from the Ego

“Stop writing from your ego.” During a recent meditation session, this was the phrase that cut through the silence. I heard a female voice repeat it several times. Since then I have contemplated what it means to write from one’s ego and how ego impedes not only honest writing, but spiritual progress.

Riddance of ego is a current struggle for me as I attempt to reach a higher spiritual plane and a healthier mental state. In addition to authors whom I do not know personally, the following people have brought this issue to my attention in 2009: Kadam Morten, a local Buddhist teacher, Sean Rachlin, a local acupuncturist and Cindi Sansone-Braff, a local psychic and medium. At each occurrence, my warning to back off of ego was remarkably similar in the words that were said as well as the chosen tone. Kadam Morten repeatedly teaches on recognizing and learning to master the ego in his classes. I heard the more personally directed advice from Sean and Cindi, as one of their many clients.